Neuroprotection in schizophrenia and its therapeutic implications

Yong Ku Kim, Kyoung Sae Na

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Schizophrenia is a chronic and debilitating mental disorder. The persisting negative and cognitive symptoms that are unresponsive to pharmacotherapy reveal the impairment of neuroprotective aspects of schizophrenia. In this review, of the several neuroprotective factors, we mainly focused on neuroinflammation, neurogenesis, and oxidative stress. We conducted a narrative and selective review. Neuroinflammation is mainly mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and microglia. Unlike peripheral inflammatory responses, neuroinflammation has a role in various neuronal activities such as neurotransmission neurogenesis. The cross-talk between neuroinflammation and neurogenesis usually has beneficial effects in the CNS under physiological conditions. However, uncontrolled and chronic neuroinflammation exert detrimental effects such as neuronal loss, inhibited neurogenesis, and excessive oxidative stress. Neurogenesis is also a major component of neuroprotection. Adult neurogenesis mainly occurs in the hippocampal region, which has an important role in memory formation and processing. Impaired neurogenesis and an ineffective response to antipsychotics may be thought to indicate a deteriorating course of schizophrenia. Oxidative stress and excessive dopaminergic neurotransmission may create a vicious cycle and consequently disturb NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic neurotransmission. Based on the current evidences, several neuroprotective therapeutic approaches have been reported to be efficacious for improving psychopathology, but further longitudinal and large-sample based studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-391
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokine
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neuroprotection
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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