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Understanding the Physiology of Schizophrenia

Brian Kirkpatrick, MD

Published: March 15, 2013

Article Abstract

The physiology of schizophrenia includes complex genetic and environmental interactions. Current treatment largely focuses on positive symptoms, but many patients with schizophrenia present with additional symptoms and conditions that hinder their social and occupational functioning. The study of the physiology of this disorder has expanded beyond dopamine dysfunction to include the glutamate, serotonin, and nicotinic/acetylcholine systems, as well as physiologic abnormalities such as diabetes and inflammation. Clinicians who understand these additional problem areas can incorporate them into their assessment and treatment plans for patients with schizophrenia.

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