The Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia – Advances in Neurobiology and Clinical Application

Posted on January 27, 2018
Time to read: 6 minutes

The dopamine hypothesis stems from early research carried out in the 1960’s and 1970’s when studies involved the use of amphetamine (increases dopamine levels) which increased psychotic symptoms while reserpine which depletes dopamine levels reduced psychotic symptoms.

The original dopamine hypothesis was put forward by Van Rossum in 1967 that stated that there was hyperactivity of dopamine transmission, which resulted in symptoms of schizophrenia and drugs that blocked dopamine reduced psychotic symptoms. [1]

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  • Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam

    The blockade of dopamine receptors by ‘antipsychotic’ drugs is an important cause of the ‘negative symptoms’ of ‘schizophrenia’. These drugs are known to cause anhedonia and emotional flatness. The label of an ‘incurable brain disease’ and the consequences of stigmatisation also contribute to loss of motivation, depression and suicide.

    • Psychscenehub

      Thanks for your comment. Primary negative symptoms are a symptom of schizophrenia while secondary negative symptoms are likely due to D2 blockade by antipsychotics as you have stated. Good points about stigma as well.