Website Search
ID 814

Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia

Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the dopamine hypothesis, the predominant neurochemical theory of schizophrenia.
There are several neurochemical hypotheses as to why schizophrenia occurs. The first of these was the dopamine hypothesis. Dopamine is what's called a neurotransmitter, meaning that it’s a chemical that allows two neurons in the brains to communicate, produces a bridge across the synapse between two cells and allows continuation of the nerve impulse to progress. So, the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia basically says that the symptoms of schizophrenia, principally the hallucinations, the delusions, the psychosis is the result of too much dopamine being active in the brain, being secreted into the synapses within a certain neural circuit. And as a result of this, it produces this over-stimulation of the cells and these symptoms. One of the reasons that we know this is the case is because often times, people who have not had the illness will experiment with drugs like cocaine, or amphetamine, or methamphetamine, drugs that stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain. Their experimenting, taking these medications will precipitate the onset of the illness, will trigger the symptoms of the illness.
dopamine hypothesis, schizophrenia, dopamine agonists, symptoms of schizophrenia, amphetamine, schizophrenia, dopamine, hypothesis, methamphetamine, cause hallucinations, psychosis, neurons, delusions, cocaine, brains, medication, jeffrey, lieberman,
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related content:

2226. Schizophrenia
An overview of schizophrenia-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
1183. Serotonin Hypothesis of Schizophrenia
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the serotonin hypothesis of schizophrenia. Drugs such as LSD and ecstasy block serotonin and produce schizophrenia-like symptoms.
1165. Dopamine and Schizophrenia
Professor Daniel Weinberger explains that dopamine is the major focus of biochemical research into schizophrenia.
846. Treatments for Schizophrenia
Many psychiatrists are now prescribing second-generation or 'atypical' antipsychotics.
2356. Biochemistry of Bipolar Disorder
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses some of the biochemicals that have been associated with bipolar disorder, including dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate.
1182. Glutamate Hypothesis of Schizophrenia
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenia. The drug PCP acts on glutamate receptors, producing schizophrenia-like symptoms.
1185. Schizophrenia - Typical and Atypical Drugs
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the differences between typical and atypical drugs that are used to treat schizophrenia.
815. Brain Cells in Schizophrenia - Faulty Circuits?
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the hypothesis that schizophrenia is caused by a group of genes producing abnormalities in brain development.
2223. Bipolar disorder
An overview of bipolar disorder-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
2393. Treating ADHD with Amphetamine
Doctor Randy Blakely describes an intriguing hypothesis for why amphetamine may be effective in treating some individuals with ADHD.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationPublic EventsNewsstandPartner With UsGiving