Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder with a complex presentation comprising positive symptoms (e.g.:
hallucinations and delusions), negative symptoms (e.g.: social withdrawal, blunted affect) and pervasive cognitive deficits
that have been associated with functional decline. The pathophysiology of the disorder is equally complex, with
abnormalities known to occur in the molecular, cellular, neurophysiological, and neuroanatomical domains. Despite
significant progress in the comprehension of the various manifestations of schizophrenia, the full picture of its etiology
remains unknown. As a result, currently available pharmacological treatments have limited efficacy and little has
improved since the discovery of the first antipsychotics back in the 1950s. In addition, these medications have significant
adverse effects. Differently from other medical areas, the diagnosis of schizophrenia is essentially clinical and dependent
on subjective elements. In an attempt to change this, efforts have been directed to find biomarkers of the disorder that
could improve diagnostic accuracy and validity, predict treatment response, enable the early identification of individuals
at risk of developing schizophrenia and indicate new targets for the development of drugs with better selective, safety, and
efficacy profiles. In this article we describe the main potential schizophrenia markers currently under study and suggest
avenues for future research in the field.
− No reliable markers exist for schizophrenia to date.
− The identification of schizophrenia markers could increase diagnostic accuracy and treatment efficacy.
− The main research lines in the current search for biomarkers are described.