Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Major psychosis and dopamine: controversial features and some suggestions

Robert Millera1 c1

a1 Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Abstract

Three problems with the dopamine hypothesis of major psychosis are pointed out: the long time-course of neuroleptic therapy; the absence of tolerance to the antipsychotic effects of neuroleptic drugs, or of a supersensitivity psychosis on drug withdrawal; and the absence of potent psychotogenic properties in the direct dopamine agonists. A resolution of these paradoxes is suggested relying on a role for dopamine in learning processes at a relatively high (cognitive) functional level. The hypothesis proposed is also used to explain the origin of some of the more distinctive psychotic symptoms.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Robert Miller, Department of Anatomy., University of Otago, P.O. Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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