Explanation and Evaluation of the Role of Neurotransmitters in Schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Lisgoe
  • Created on: 04-11-14 18:20
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  • Neurotransmitters
    • Chemicals that transmit impulses across the synapses between two neurons
      • From Pre-Synaptic to Post-Synaptic Neurons
    • Dopamine Hyposthesis
    • Support
      • Phenothiazines
        • Effective in reducing some of the major symptoms of Sz
          • Bloacks dopamine at the synapse
      • Clozapine
        • Most clinically effective drug for Sz
          • Blocks dopamine receptors
      • L-dopa
        • Used to treat Parkinson's Disease
        • Increases dopamine levels
          • Can produce symptoms of Sz
            • Previously unaffected individuals
      • Amphetamines
        • Can induce symptoms of acute paranoid Sz
        • Increase severity of symptoms
          • Previously diagnosed individuals
      • PET scans
        • Wong et al
          • Found increase in DP receptor density
            • Patients who hadn't been previously treated
              • Compared to treated patients
                • Suggests Sz is caused by excess DP
    • Limitations
      • Phenothiazines don't work for all patients diagnosed with Sz
        • Decreases the positive symptoms but not the negative symptoms
          • So negative symptoms can still effect the patient
      • L-dopa and Amphetamines don't worsen symptoms in all Sz sufferers
        • Suggests that inducing dopamine levels don't effect Sz symptoms
      • Post-Mortems
        • Difficult to draw conclusions
          • Carried out on individuals who were taking neuroleptic drugs for years
            • Increased DP levels could be the result of drug therapy, rather than Sz
      • Recent PET scans
        • Farde et al (1990)
          • Have not replicated Wong's work
            • Implies that Wong's study lacks validity and reliability
              • Results can't be replicated


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