Antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs comprise the most common groups of prescribed drugs in psychiatry. Despite their efficacy in terms of remission of the primary clinical symptoms, many of them are associated with neurotoxic effects in experimental settings: tricyclic antidepressants and, in particular, typical neuroleptics have been causally linked to neuronal death in vitro that may account for the extrapyramidal effects, e.g. tardive dyskinesia, seen in patients. Here, some of the molecules and signaling cascades underlying these events are reviewed. The article is intended to highlight the shortcomings of current therapeutic agents and thus to encourage the rational design of efficacious, but safer, drugs in the future.
Keywords: antidepressant, antipsychotic drugs, neuronal cell survival, psychiatry, tardive dyskinesia, Neurodegeneration
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