Clinical Neuropsychopharmacology and Therapeutics
Online ISSN : 1884-8826
ISSN-L : 1884-8826
Review Article
Pharmacological Treatment of Schizophrenia:
Current Issues and Future Perspectives
W. Wolfgang FleischhackerSeiya Miyamoto
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2016 Volume 7 Pages 1-8


In the past decade, four main topics have shaped research and clinical practice. 1) In randomized controlled trials, researchers have investigated whether treating prodromal symptoms of schizophrenia helps to reduce the conversion risk to full-blown schizophrenia. Results are ambiguous and the discussion on whether or not an intervention at the stage is justified is ongoing. 2) Following the enhanced understanding of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, also with respect to specific symptom domains, pharmacological targets beyond D2 receptor antagonism have been explored. Much work and enthusiasm has revolved around nicotinergic and glutamatergic compounds, so far with mostly discouraging results. 3) Several new-generation antipsychotics have become available as long-acting formulations. All of them have demonstrated a significant positive impact on relapse rates in placebo controlled studies. Whether these compounds also have advantages over first-generation depots and/or oral antipsychotics is still debated. The development of an inhalable antipsychotic has complemented the treatment options for the management of acutely agitated patients. 4) Lastly, attempts from various perspectives, including genetics and neuroimaging, have investigated whether it is possible to predict treatment response and drug safety. Although some look promising, they have not yet reached a stage in which they can be applied to everyday clinical practice. What has become clear, though, is that early non response predicts late non response, leading to the recommendation to switch antipsychotics much earlier than stated in most treatment guidelines.

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© 2016 The Japanese Society of Clinical Neuropsychopharmacology
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