November 24, 2006

Treating Negative Symptoms: An Expert Interview With Dr. Coyle

In this expert interview, Treating the Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia: An Expert Interview With Joseph Coyle, MD by Jessica Gould on Medscape Psychiatry & Mental Health, Dr. Coyle explains what negative symptoms of schizophrenia are as opposed to positive and cognitive symptoms, the challenges of treating negative symptoms, and current headway being made.

Although schizophrenia is most known for its positive symptoms with florid hallucinations and delusions, those symptoms tend to wax and wane over time, diminishing as the person ages. Enduring cognitive symptoms involving memory, decision making and problem solving ability, along with the negative social and motivational symptoms can cause significant and persistent impairment.

In discussing challenges to treatment of negative symptoms, Dr. Coyle implicates several factors including the historical success of neuroleptics which strikingly reduce the outward symptoms of psychosis. This success promoted the treatment of just this one component of the illness without addressing underlying causes, and the negative symptoms and cognitive aspects of the illness remained quite impaired.

One breakthrough may have come from the study of the effects on people abusing certain illegal street drugs that block the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor (a receptor for glutamine). These drugs produce a syndrome that closely mimics schizophrenia, leading to the research discovery which suggested that the negative, cognitive, and other physiologic components of schizophrenia are inheritable.

Next discussed are the rapid strides made over the last five years into the understanding of the genetic aspects of this highly inheritable disorder and the current work being done with D-serine and glycine to alleviate the negative and cognitive symptoms of patients with schizophrenia on antipsychotic medications.

Dr. Coyle concludes the interview by voicing the hope that investigations being done to determine whether these novel treatments, when used on people at high risk of developing psychosis and schizophrenia, can forestall the development of the illness.

Read the Interview: Treating the Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia: An Expert Interview With Joseph Coyle, MD

More Information About the Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia and Potential Causes and Treatments:
New Negative Symptoms Drugs
CYP2D6 Gene May Contribute to Persistent Negative Symptoms
A New Direction for Schizophrenia Treatments?
Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia Are Pervasive
Negative Symptoms Contribute to Social Phobia


i honestly wanted to know if schizophrenia has some side effect that makes you hyperintelligent. out of everyone i know with this "illness" we are all smarter, faster, able to memorise everything, younger looking than anyone in our age bracket (we are all of diff. ethnic backgrounds) and we are all completely unmedicated. what if the medications are what's causing the degrasion in their neorotransmisions? what if the drugs are causing the person to degrade physically over time as well as stated? why are the 14 of us ok without meds. we have all been diagnosed and have tried meds, all they seemed to do was knock us out, zombify us, or cause the episodes, when they happen, to be about 20 times worse, like they had been building up instead of being let out. we might be a total anomoly, but we can't be the only one's. is there a way i could help you find a better way to treat schizophrenia because we are obviously winning and you are all still fighting. side note, mental illness run rampant on both sides of my family. i'd appriciate some kind of response.

Posted by: DeziaX at February 22, 2007 07:44 PM

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