The treatment of schizophrenia, one of the most debilitating mental illnesses, began by the serendipitous discovery of chlorpromazine. Since then, researchers have endeavored to find the cause of the illness but it remains unresolved. As a result, literature on the etiology of schizophrenia is littered with hypotheses and theories that are constantly reviewed, modified and rejected. Two hypotheses, however, have withstood the test of time and serve as the basis for the drug treatment, namely the dopamine and serotonin hypotheses. This review introduces the disease state, summarizes in detail the two leading hypotheses on schizophrenia, presents drugs that are currently available for treatment, and discusses some of the promising drug candidates based on their pre and early clinical trial results.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, dopamine, serotonin, current therapeutics, Chlorpromazine, hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, catatonic behavior, DSM-IV
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport