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, 35 (1), 258-77

Executive Function, Neural Circuitry, and Genetic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia


Executive Function, Neural Circuitry, and Genetic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia

Daniel Paul Eisenberg et al. Neuropsychopharmacology.


After decades of research aimed at elucidating the pathophysiology and etiology of schizophrenia, it has become increasingly apparent that it is an illness knowing few boundaries. Psychopathological manifestations extend across several domains, impacting multiple facets of real-world functioning for the affected individual. Even within one such domain, arguably the most enduring, difficult to treat, and devastating to long-term functioning-executive impairment-there are not only a host of disrupted component processes, but also a complex underlying dysfunctional neural architecture. Further, just as implicated brain structures (eg, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) through postmortem and neuroimaging techniques continue to show alterations in multiple, interacting signaling pathways, so too does evolving understanding of genetic risk factors suggest multiple molecular entry points to illness liability. With this expansive network of interactions in mind, the present chapter takes a systems-level approach to executive dysfunction in schizophrenia, by identifying key regions both within and outside of the frontal lobes that show changes in schizophrenia and are important in cognitive control neural circuitry, summarizing current knowledge of their relevant functional interactions, and reviewing emerging links between schizophrenia risk genetics and characteristic executive circuit aberrancies observed with neuroimaging methods.

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