Psychopharmacology and Mental Health

Psychopharmacology and Mental Health

Episodic memory discrepancies seen in patients suffering from psychosis involve deficits in the medial temporal cortex, particularly the hippocampus, and in the PFC, particularly the ventral and dorsolateral regions (Brisch, 2014). Furthermore, increases in both phasic and tonic activity in the PFC, commonly seen in patients suffering from psychosis, leads to an increase in inhibitory post-synaptic currents, which would ultimately cause inhibition in the thalamus (Avery, 2017).

Neurochemical Abnormalities of Psychosis

Regarding the more direct neurochemical abnormalities of psychosis, pathophysiological models assume that psychosis is caused by hyperactive dopamine (DA) transmission in the mesolimbic pathways and PFC (Brisch, 2014). This is known as the DA hypothesis, and it has been around ever since clinicians have attempted to explain the pathophysiology of psychosis.

Parkinson’s disease research has majorly contributed in supporting the DA hypothesis. As shown in the above image, Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a significant DA deficiency in the basal ganglia, located in the center of the brain (Brisch, 2014). It is important to note the dopamine theory of schizophrenia has been challenged. Although medications produce their pharmacological effects rapidly, their clinical effects take weeks or months to kick in. This is known as a therapeutic lag. Furthermore, other receptors in other systems are involved along with the dopamine system. Finally, there is a need to reconcile the anatomical/developmental abnormalities.


Share this:

About the Author

Avatar photo

Christy and Brigitte LewisChristy Lewis holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Professional School of Psychology.. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has counseled for a combined 17 years in several clinical and medical settings and has offered career/life coaching for an additional 10 years. Christy is also Board Certified in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback through BCIA, the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance organization.Brigitte graduated in August 2020 from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience. She is currently working toward her BCN (Board Certification in Neurofeedback) certification. Brigitte currently works at the Biofeedback, Education, & Training Center in Plano, Texas as a Sleep/Health Coach and Clinical Intake Coordinator. Sleep/Health Coaching includes providing new clients with educational information regarding behavioral changes and sleep hygiene to help improve overall perceived sleep quality. In the future, Brigitte plans to attend graduate school to study Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on sleep quality and how it affects overall health.

View all posts by Christy and Brigitte Lewis

Leave a Reply