Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder characterised by positive and negative symptoms, cognitive impairments, attentional problems, anxiety and depressive symptoms. The use of atypical antipsychotics has generally improved clinical outcome yet medical need remains. The potential use of 5-HT1A receptor agonism is emerging as one potential area that could be exploited to improve clinical management of the disease. 5-HT1A receptor agonism will not reduce hyperprolactinaemia but does appear to enhance effects on positive, negative and cognitive symptoms and also treat attentional, depressive and anxiety symptoms whilst reducing the extrapyramidal side effect profile, compared to classical antipsychotic agents. Agonism at the 5-HT1A receptor might therefore offer potential benefits to the pallet of existing strategies for the treatment of schizophrenia. We review existing data in support of this. However, further clinical data are needed to prove these hypotheses.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, serotonin, 5-HT1A, antipsychotic, D2
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