PSYCH 127A Chapter Notes - Chapter 13.7: Dopamine Receptor, Dopaminergic Pathways, Antipsychotic

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Unlikely that schizophrenia will be traced to a single site in the brain. Brain imaging is not diagnostic, can"t predict presence of schizophrenia. Some schizophrenic patients do not show abnormalities in brain structure or function. Focuses on the function of specific dopamine pathways. Original hypothesis proposed that symptoms of schizophrenia are the result of excessive levels of dopaminergic activity. Based on how antipsychotic drugs improve the adjustment of many schizophrenic patients. Suggested that antipsychotics block postsynaptic dopamine receptors causing the presynaptic neuron to release more dopamine to override it. Certain neural pathways have elevated sensitivity to dopamine because of increased postsynaptic dopamine receptors. Potency of antipsychotics are artificially related to their ability to block one type of dopamine receptor, known as d receptors. Imaging studies show elevated levels of dopamine functioning in the striatum. Experts now agree that several other nts besides da also play a role. Some patients do not respond positively to drugs that block dopamine receptors.

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