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The Neurobiology of Cognition in Schizophrenia

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(9):e11

Cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia differs from cognitive dysfunction in neurodegenerative illnesses because it is associated with neuronal dysfunction and not neurodegeneration. Pharmacologically, potential targets for developing treatments may differ from cognition in dementing disorders. Several putative molecular targets for treating cognition in schizophrenia show promise, such as treatments that act on the D1 receptor of the dopamine system; the 5HT1A, 5HT2A, and 5HT6, receptors of the serotonin system; and ampakines, Glycine/D-cycloserine, D-serine, and mGluR 2/3 agonists of the glutamatergic system. Other receptors associated with improvement in cognition include nicotinic and muscarinic receptors, and the αlpha2 subunit receptor of the brain GABA system.  Domain treatment of schizophrenia is a new method of treating schizophrenia that involves treating a single domain of dysfunction at a time.

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