Research on the Relation between Schizophrenia and Dopamine

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The vast majority of medications currently in the marketplace or under development to treat schizophrenia/psychosis focus on dopamine in one way or another. Most of the medications that are currently used to treat this condition affect dopamine in a direct way. These drugs specifically target this substance because historically, psychosis has been linked to unusually high levels of dopamine in the part of the brain that is known as the stratum (Nauert, 2010). Moreover, there is a fair amount of research that indicates there is a direct correlation between levels of glutamate, which is another substance the brain produces and is found in the hippocampus, and dopamine in individuals who eventually develop schizophrenia. Because of the prevalence of copious quantities of dopamine in people who have schizophrenia, most medications attempt to prevent the buildup of dopamine by blocking it in the striatum. Other methods in which drugs for this condition help to counteract the effects of dopamine, however, are more indirect. There are medications that are under development that "interfere with glutamate signals in the brain" (Nauert, 2010) that are targeted towards affecting glutamate, which in turn will then positively influence the levels of dopamine that the brain releases. In both ways then, (direct and indirect), dopamine is the primary focus of schizophrenia medication. By definition, schizophrenia is a lack of ability on the part of a patient to determine fantasy from
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