2012 48(3):125-8.

Biological perspectives: the role of glutamate in schizophrenia and its treatment.

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a heartbreaking, debilitating, youth-stealing, lifetime disorder for most individuals afflicted with it. While the serendipitous discovery of chlorpromazine 60 plus years ago and the subsequent “discoveries” since have significantly reduced positive symptoms, the devastation of negative/cognitive symptoms continues to ruin lives. Given the cost in lives and dollars that schizophrenia drains out of our society, neuroscientists will continue to explore better approaches to fighting this disorder. The hypoglutamate model appears promising, yet there are miles to go before we sleep. As Nestler et al. (2009, p. 398) deftly acknowledge, “. . . it is important to point out that postulating a role for abnormal glutamatergic neurotransmission in schizophrenia is akin to proposing that the brain is involved in schizophrenia since every single neuron in the brain receives thousands of excitatory synapses that utilize glutamate as their neurotransmitter.”


Link to PubMed