Glossary

Acute Dystonia

Muscle dysfunction characterised by spasms or abnormal muscle contraction.

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Amphetamines

A group of drugs that have a marked stimulant action on the central nervous system., alleviating fatigue and producing a feeling of mental alertness and well-being.

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Antipsychotic

Also termed neuroleptics. A group of drugs used to treat severe mental disorders (psychoses), including schizophrenia and mania; some are administered in small doses to relieve anxiety.

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Atypical Antipsychotics

Atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotics are a group of more recently developed drugs that may be helpful in those who do not respond to treatment with other antipsychotics. They include...

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Catatonic Schizophrenia

A rare form of schizophrenia featuring major motor disturbances, such as immobility.

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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to influence problematic and dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure.

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Delusion

An irrationally held belief that cannot be altered by rational argument. Often a false belief that the individual is persecuted by others, is very powerful, is controlled by others, or is a victim of...

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Disorganised Schizophrenia

  Also termed Hebephrenic schizophrenia. Disordered thought and speech. Onset in adolescence or young childhood.

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Dopamine

A chemical that functions as a neurotransmitter, acting on specific dopamine receptors D1 to D5. Utilised by neurons in the mesocortical, mesolimbic, nigrostriatal and tuberoinfundibular pathways in...

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Dopamine Hypothesis

The theory that schizophrenia is caused partly by abnormal metabolism of dopamine in specific areas of the brain.

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Electroconvulsive Therapy

A controversial psychiatric treatment in which a convulsion is produced by passing an electric current through the brain. It is still unknown why this treatment works.

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Extrapyramidal System

A system of nerve tracts and pathways connecting the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum, reticular formation and spinal neurones in complex circuits. Mainly concerned with...

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Glutamate

An amino acid (components of proteins) and the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. Its receptors include the NMDA receptor.

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Hallucination

A false perception of something that is not really there.

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Mesocortical Pathway

A complex system of nerve pathways and networks in the brain, involved in motivation and emotional response, and also believed to be responsible for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

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Mesolimbic Pathway

A complex system of nerve pathways and networks in the brain, involved in expression of instinct and mood in activities of the endocrine and motor systems of the body. Regions of the brain involved...

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Negative Symptoms

Symptoms representing a lack or reduction in functioning such as blunted emotions, inability to experience pleasure, and a lack or reduction of motivation 

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Neurotransmitter

A chemical substance released from nerve endings to transmit impulses across synapses to other nerves and across the minute gaps between then nerves and the muscles or glands that they supply. In the...

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Nigrostriatal Pathway

A complex system of nerve pathways and networks in the brain, part of the basal ganglia motor loop, involved in production of movement and associated with some of the movement side effects of...

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Paranoid Schizophrenia

A type of schizophrenia featuring hallucinations or delusions, but other symptoms such as disorganised thoughts are not present. Later onset than other forms.

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Positive Symptoms

Symptoms which represent a change in behaviour or thoughts, such as hallucinations and delusions.

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Prolactin

A hormone which can cause breast swelling, pain and lactation, even in males. It can also cause visual problems, headaches and sexual dysfunction.

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Residual Schizophrenia

A type of schizophrenia featuring low level positive symptoms.

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Schizophrenia

A severe mental disorder characterised by disintegration of the process of thinking, of contact with reality, and of emotional responsiveness. Delusions and hallucinations (especially of voices) are...

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Serotonin

Chemical name 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). A chemical found throughout the body which acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Thought to have a strong effect on mood. Drugs which prolong its action...

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Simple Schizophrenia

A type of schizophrenia featuring social withdrawal and other negative symptoms but no psychotic symptoms.

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Stress-Diathesis Model

A proposed model for the causes behind onset of schizophrenia. States that every individual has a certain vunerability (or diathesis) to schizophrenia, which is then influenced by various factors.

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Tardive Dyskinesia

A condition characterised by involuntary repetitive movements of the facial muscles and the tongue, and muslces of the limbs.

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Typical Antipsychotics

Typical (or first-generation, classic or major tranquilisers) antipsychotics include the phenothiazine (e.g chlorpromazine), butyrophenones (e.g. haloperidol) and thioxanthenes (e.g....

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Some definitions reproduced from the Oxford Medical Dictionary, 3rd Edition.


References and Links

The references and links used to create this website:

Websites:



DrugBank Drugs Database: http://www.drugbank.ca/


Mind Mental Health Charity Schizophrenia Page: http://www.mind.org.uk
Mind Mental Health Charity "Making Sense of Antipsychotics" Page: http://www.mind.org.uk
NHS Choices Schizophrenia Page: http://www.nhs.uk
NHS Choices Antipsychotics Drug Guide: http://nhs.medguides.medicines.org.uk
Pubchem Chemical Database: http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Rethink Mental Health Charity Antipsychotics Side Effects Page: http://www.rethink.org
Wikipedia Schizophrenia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia
Wikipedia Antipsychotics Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipsychotic
Wikipedia Dopamine Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine
Wikipedia Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org
Williams College Antipsychotics Page: http://www.williams.edu 

 

 

Articles and Books:



Jones, H. M., & Pilowsky, L. S. (2002). Dopamine and antipsychotic drug action revisited. Br J Psychiatry , 181, 271-275. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/181/4/271


Miyamoto, S., Duncan, G. E., Marx, C. E., & Lieberman, J. A. (2005). Treatments for schizophrenia: a critical review of pharmacology and mechanisms of action of antipsychotic drugs. Mol Psychiatry , 10 (1), 79-104.
Rang, H. P., Dale, M. M., Ritter, J. M., & Moore, P. K. (2003). Pharmacology (5th ed.). London: Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier Limited.