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      Adjunctive treatment with mianserin enhances effects of raclopride on cortical dopamine output and, in parallel, its antipsychotic-like effect

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          Clinical studies indicate that adjunctive treatment with the antidepressant drug mianserin, a 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) 2A/C receptor antagonist and an α 2- and α 1-adrenoceptor antagonist, may enhance the effect of conventional antipsychotic drugs in schizophrenia, in particular on negative symptoms such as withdrawal retardation, akathisia, and some aspects of cognitive impairment. Here, we have examined the effect of mianserin in combination with the selective dopamine (DA) D 2/3 receptor antagonist raclopride on conditioned avoidance response (CAR), a preclinical test of antipsychotic efficacy with high predictive validity; catalepsy, a preclinical test of extrapyramidal side effect liability; and DA output in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the nucleus accumbens (NAC), respectively. Mianserin (5 mg/kg intraperitoneal) significantly enhanced the suppressant effect of a low dose of raclopride (0.1 mg/kg subcutaneous) on CAR without any increase in catalepsy. Administration of raclopride to rats pretreated with mianserin resulted in a large enhancement of DA output in the mPFC and, at the same time, a small but significant reduction in the raclopride-induced DA output in the NAC. These experimental results indicate that adjunctive treatment with mianserin to a typical D 2 antagonist generates an atypical antipsychotic profile.

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          What are the functional consequences of neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia?

          It has been well established that schizophrenic patients have neurocognitive deficits, but it is not known how these deficits influence the daily lives of patients. The goal of this review was to determine which, if any, neurocognitive deficits restrict the functioning of schizophrenic patients in the outside world. The author reviewed studies that have evaluated neurocognitive measures as predictors and correlates of functional outcome for schizophrenic patients. The review included 1) studies that have prospectively evaluated specific aspects of neurocognition and community (e.g., social and vocational) functioning (six studies), 2) all known studies of neurocognitive correlates of social problem solving (five studies), and 3) all known studies of neurocognitive correlates and predictors of psychosocial skill acquisition (six studies). Despite wide variation among studies in the selection of neurocognitive measures, some consistencies emerged. The most consistent finding was that verbal memory was associated with all types of functional outcome. Vigilance was related to social problem solving and skill acquisition. Card sorting predicted community functioning but not social problem solving. Negative symptoms were associated with social problem solving but not skill acquisition. Notably, psychotic symptoms were not significantly associated with outcome measures in any of the studies reviewed. Verbal memory and vigilance appear to be necessary for adequate functional outcome. Deficiencies in these areas may prevent patients from attaining optimal adaptation and hence act as "neurocognitive rate-limiting factors." On the basis of this review of the literature, a series of hypotheses are offered for follow-up studies.
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            Effect of COMT Val108/158 Met genotype on frontal lobe function and risk for schizophrenia.

            Abnormalities of prefrontal cortical function are prominent features of schizophrenia and have been associated with genetic risk, suggesting that susceptibility genes for schizophrenia may impact on the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal function. A potential susceptibility mechanism involves regulation of prefrontal dopamine, which modulates the response of prefrontal neurons during working memory. We examined the relationship of a common functional polymorphism (Val(108/158) Met) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which accounts for a 4-fold variation in enzyme activity and dopamine catabolism, with both prefrontally mediated cognition and prefrontal cortical physiology. In 175 patients with schizophrenia, 219 unaffected siblings, and 55 controls, COMT genotype was related in allele dosage fashion to performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test of executive cognition and explained 4% of variance (P = 0.001) in frequency of perseverative errors. Consistent with other evidence that dopamine enhances prefrontal neuronal function, the load of the low-activity Met allele predicted enhanced cognitive performance. We then examined the effect of COMT genotype on prefrontal physiology during a working memory task in three separate subgroups (n = 11-16) assayed with functional MRI. Met allele load consistently predicted a more efficient physiological response in prefrontal cortex. Finally, in a family-based association analysis of 104 trios, we found a significant increase in transmission of the Val allele to the schizophrenic offspring. These data suggest that the COMT Val allele, because it increases prefrontal dopamine catabolism, impairs prefrontal cognition and physiology, and by this mechanism slightly increases risk for schizophrenia.
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              Radioreceptor binding profile of the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine.

              The affinities of olanzapine, clozapine, haloperidol, and four potential antipsychotics were compared on binding to the neuronal receptors of a number of neurotransmitters. In both rat tissues and cell lines transfected with human receptors olanzapine had high affinity for dopamine D1, D2, D4, serotonin (5HT)2A, 5HT2C, 5HT3, alpha 1-adrenergic, histamine H1, and five muscarinic receptor subtypes. Olanzapine had lower affinity for alpha 2-adrenergic receptors and relatively low affinity for 5HT1 subtypes, GABAA, beta-adrenergic receptors, and benzodiazepine binding sites. The receptor binding affinities for olanzapine was quite similar in tissues from rat and human brain. The binding profile of olanzapine was comparable to the atypical antipsychotic clozapine, while the binding profiles for haloperidol, resperidone, remoxipride, Org 5222, and seroquel were substantially different from that of clozapine. The receptor binding profile of olanzapine is consistent with the antidopaminergic, antiserotonergic, and antimuscarinic activity observed in animal models and predicts atypical antipsychotic activity in man.

                Author and article information

                Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat
                Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
                Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
                Dove Medical Press
                September 2005
                : 1
                : 3
                : 253-260
                simpleSection for Neuropsychopharmacology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Torgny H Svensson Section of Neuropsychopharmacology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Nanna Svartz väg 2, S-171 77, Stockholm, Sweden Tel +46 8 5248 7921 Fax +46 8 308 424 Email Torgny.Svensson@
                © 2005 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                Original Research


                atypicality, dopamine, prefrontal cortex, adjunctive mianserin, typical antipsychotic drugs


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