The Dopamine Hypothesis

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  • The Dopamine Hypothesis
    • A01
      • Excess dopamine in brain= schizo symptoms
      • Increased activity at dopamine synapses= paranoia
      • Hallucinations occur as brain is too active
      • Excess D2 receptors= key role in guiding attention
      • Stimulation of the mesolimbic pathway= linked to positive symptoms
      • Problems with dopamine functioning in the pathway connecting the midbrain to the frontal lobes= linked to negative symptoms
      • Large doses of dopamine often found in the limbic system
      • Lack of neurotransmitter glutamate= schizo symptoms
    • A02
      • Iverson- post mortems, high dopamine levels in schizos
      • Lindstroem et al- PET scan, 10 schizos, 10 healthy controls, L-Dopa injected into brain, schizos took L-Dopa up quickly as more dopamine being produced
      • Randrup + Munkvad- amphetamines to rats= increases schizo symptoms
      • Barlow + Durand- chlorpromazine reduce schizo symptoms in 60% of cases
      • Anti-schizo drugs cause Parkinson's symptoms= caused by lack of dopamine
      • Excess dopamine may be as a result of schizo not a cause
      • Drugs reduce sudden positive symptoms but not symptoms that come on slowly/negative symptoms=  not full explanation

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