New drugs for the treatment of schizophrenic patients.Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 1995; 388:24-30AP
Conventional neuroleptics are widely accepted as being effective against the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, but do not benefit all patients. Furthermore, they are relatively ineffective against negative symptoms and cognitive disorders, and most have unpleasant side effect profiles. New strategies for treating schizophrenia include the development of dopamine antagonists with high selectivity for different subtypes of dopamine receptors, dopamine partial agonists, antagonists at different serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) receptor subtypes, drugs with mixed pharmacological profiles and drugs which modify transmission via amino acids or peptides in the brain. The prospect is that some of these strategies will lead to the introduction of new drugs and that some of these will become the standards against which future drugs will be compared. The search for new drugs and their use in clinical practice will also lead to developments in our knowledge and understanding of schizophrenia.