Research may explain why some people with schizophrenia do not respond to treatment

November 30, 2012

New research suggests that the molecular mechanism leading to schizophrenia may be different in patients who fail to respond to anti-psychotic medication compared to patients who do respond.

The research, from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry may help explain why up to one third of with schizophrenia do not respond to traditional anti-psychotic medication.

Schizophrenia is known to be associated with an overactive , meaning that the brain processes abnormally high levels of dopamine. Traditional dopamine-blocking anti-psychotic medication attempts to normalise this process. However, approximately one third of patients with schizophrenia do not respond to this treatment, and until now, no study has examined whether dopamine abnormality is present in patients resistant to antipsychotic treatment.