Targeting synaptic plasticity in schizophrenia: insights from genomic studies.
Mould AW., Hall NA., Milosevic I., Tunbridge EM.
Patients with schizophrenia experience cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms that do not respond to current drug treatments. Historical evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that these deficits are due, at least in part, to altered cortical synaptic plasticity (the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken their activity), making this an attractive pathway for therapeutic intervention. However, while synaptic transmission and plasticity is well understood in model systems, it has been challenging to identify specific therapeutic targets for schizophrenia. New information is emerging from genomic findings, which converge on synaptic plasticity and provide a new window on the neurobiology of schizophrenia. Translating this information into therapeutic advances will require a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach.