Jack is a 27-year-old male who has a history of paranoid schizophrenia that first became apparent approximately 10 years ago
The neurophysiologic theory of schizophrenia suggests that Jack’s symptoms were a result of alterations or irregularities in the action potentials of neurons. According to this theory, only a few specific neurotransmitters are involved in the transmission of neural impulses and the brain is quite vulnerable to any alteration in their activity.
The neurophysiologic theory of schizophrenia suggests that Jack’s symptoms were a result of overactivity in the dopamine pathway, whereas traditional theories hold that they are caused by underactivity.
The neurophysiologic theory of schizophrenia suggests that miscommunications between brain structures are a cause of schizophrenia. The neurochemical dopamine is important in the modulation of motivational, emotional, and arousal systems, and deficits in the dopamine system have been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In addition, high-potency antipsychotics have greater affinity for dopaminergic receptors relative to lower-potency antipsychotics. The high potency associated with haloperidol may explain Jack’s tendency to relapse when he stopped taking it.
At 27 years old, Jack’s brain was developing in some areas and grown to full capacity in others. According to the neurophysiologic theory of schizophrenia, all parts of the brain have not reached maturation at the same time. For Jack, it was believed that his perceptual motor cortex had not fully developed, which resulted in his hallucinations. But all was not lost. This area, along with other parts of the brain that hadn’t fully matured could be corrected with the right drug regimen aimed at those specific areas.
Sidestepping the various theories of pathogenesis, which include biochemical and neurophysiologic causes for schizophrenia, a psychodynamic approach will help you understand paranoid schizophrenia. Jack’s symptoms are the result of his defensive mechanisms that allow him to compromise with internal conflicts. The content and form of his symptoms reveal Jack’s unconscious dynamics. By knowing how he manages personal conflicts, you can identify ways to improve treatment so that he can make smoother transitions in his life.
Despite the decline in service delivery for many antipsychotic agent classes like conventional antipsychotics, newer medications have been developed to have noticeable differences from their predecessors. This module will provide an overview of the neurophysiologic theory of schizophrenia and the newer atypical antipsychotics, often called “second generation”. The more traditional neuroleptic drugs, like haloperidol, that work by blocking dopamine receptors will also be discussed.
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality based on their actions and the information they share. A neurophysiologic approach argues that it is not an intentional action of the patient, but rather an inability to interpret the world around them by failing to properly process information needed to create an overall worldview.
The neurophysiologic theory suggests that there is a disruption in the normal balance between dopamine and glutamate – two excitatory neurotransmitters. This leads to characteristic psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations.
People with schizophrenia may experience psychosis, hallucinations, and symptoms of thought disorder. This is also known as an affected individual’s positive symptoms. Negative symptoms are reduced emotional range, flattened affect, and lack of pleasure or interest in activity. Positive and negative symptoms go hand in hand; a person with negative symptoms may be less likely to respond positively to treatment but can still be helped by antipsychotic medications.
Schizophrenia is characterized by delusions or hallucinations and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as disorganized thinking. Psychosis is a significant impairment in reality testing or an impaired ability to communicate effectively with other people. Not every person with schizophrenia will experience psychosis. While psychoses manifest in many different ways, there are five types of frequently observed psychotic symptoms: persecutory (feeling as though you are being hunted), grandiose (greatly exaggerated sense of one’s own abilities), referential (feeling like an authority figure is sending secret messages meant specifically for you), somatic (perception that bodily functions are not right, e.g. feeling like one’s stomach has fallen out), and miscellaneous (having some other type of perceptual disturbance).
After years of research, schizophrenia still has no known cure. However, it is known to be a neurodegenerative disease that is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors . Antipsychotic medications have little effect on the core symptoms, but they do help lessen the severity of these symptoms when they are present.
Jack is a 27-year-old male who has a history of paranoid schizophrenia that first became apparent approximately 10 years ago. He developed paranoid delusions and eventually decompensated to the point that he required inpatient stabilization. At the time, he was started on conventional antipsychotics, but due to intolerable adverse effects he was switched to haloperidol. It worked well, but whenever he stopped taking it, symptoms would recur. After several hospitalizations, he was stabilized. The neurophysiologic theory of schizophrenia suggests that Jack’s symptoms were a result of: