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Mechanisms of Antipsychotic-Induced Weight Gain

Roger S. McIntyre, MD; Deborah A. Mancini, MA; and Vincenzo S. Basile, BSc, BEd

Published: January 9, 2001

Article Abstract

The estimated percentage of persons with schizophrenia who are overweight is higher than thepercentage of persons in the general population who are overweight. The increased mortality rate forpersons with schizophrenia is largely due to obesity-related diseases. The atypical antipsychotics offeran improved therapeutic index when compared with the conventional agents, but may impart seriousadverse events such as weight gain. This brief review is intended to provide the practicing clinicianwith an update of disparate research paradigms under investigation in an attempt to delineate the biologicalmechanisms that presage weight gain. Research success in this area may invite novel preventionstrategies and hint at potential mechanisms of antipsychotic drug action.

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