The Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia: An Historical Perspective


A chapter from the soon-to-be-released “Targets and Emerging Therapies for Schizophrenia” explores the history of the dopamine hypothesis, finding thatalthough blocking of D2DR ameliorates psychosis, this does not necessarily mean that the dopamine system is abnormal in schizophrenia.” The authors go on to say; “Vigorous search for abnormalities in the dopamine system in schizophrenia so far has yielded inconclusive results … any simple, exclusive pathology of the dopamine system in schizophrenia was and is doubtful.”

Chapter →

Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor:
The authors go on further, concluding (somewhat ironically, from my perspective) “Despite these doubts, continuing attempts to develop effective drugs for the treatment of different symptoms of schizophrenia by restoring the homeostasis of dopamine is warranted since many of the mental processes impaired in schizophrenia involve brain circuitry that is modulated by dopamine.”


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].