Schizophrenia is a major mental disorder with no clearly identified pathophysiology. A variety of theories have been proposed to explain the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. One approach that is finding empirical support is the investigation of membrane composition and function. Evidence to date suggests that there are defects in phospholipid metabolism and cell signaling in schizophrenia. Specifically, low levels of arachidonic acid (AA)-enriched phospholipids have been observed in both central and peripheral tissues. It is well known that changes in membrane composition are associated with a variety of functional consequences. Since AA has many key roles in neural functioning, understanding its significance for the pathophysiology of schizophrenia may lead to novel approaches to improving treatment of schizophrenia. The purpose of this review is thus to explore some of the roles of AA signaling in biological, physiological, and clinical phenomena observed in schizophrenia.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, arachidonic acid, phospholipid metabolism, neurotransmission, phosphoinositide signaling system, eicosanoids, endocannabinoids, ethyl eicosapentaenoate supplementation
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