Module introduction

By the end of this module, we hope you will be able to:


  • understand both the importance and limitations of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia, and its relevance to antipsychotic action


  • identify the primary pharmacological effects of different classes of antipsychotic drugs and the mechanisms underlying the differences between them


  • assess the evidence for the central role of dopamine D2 receptor antagonism in the relief of positive symptoms


  • understand that dopamine hyperfunction is secondary to abnormalities in GABA and/or glutamate neurons, which may in turn relate to cognitive and negative symptoms


  • understand the limitations of D2 antagonism in the response of these symptoms, and some of these symptoms being influenced by the possible role of 5-HT receptor mechanisms.



© 2018 Royal College of Psychiatrists