Dopamine supersensitivity psychosis in schizophrenia: Concepts and implications in clinical practice

Journal of Psychopharmacology
Yusuke NakataMasaomi Iyo


Dopamine supersensitivity psychosis (DSP) is observed in patients with schizophrenia under antipsychotic treatment, and it is characterized by rebound psychosis, an uncontrollable psychotic episode following a stable state and tardive dyskinesia. DSP, first described in patients taking typical antipsychotics in the late 1970s, sometimes appears even in patients who are treated with current atypical antipsychotics. It was recently demonstrated that DSP can have a negative impact on the long-term prognosis of schizophrenia patients and that DSP could be involved in the etiology of some cases of treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Accumulating evidence suggests that an up-regulation of dopamine D2 receptors (DRD2) in the brain caused by long-term exposure to antipsychotics is related to the DSP phenomenon. The present review describes the clinical characteristics and the etiology of DSP in the era of second-generation antipsychotics for patients with schizophrenia. Based on the mechanism of DSP, several potential treatments for patients presenting with a DSP episode or the dopamine supersensitivity state are also discussed.


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Related Concepts

Psychoses, Drug
Antipsychotic Effect
Dopamine D2 Receptor
Central Nervous System Sensitization
Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists
Psychotic Disorders

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