Conway Review Lecture 1987

14/09/1987 in Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 6, Kildare Street, Dublin 2

The Ageing Brain, Neuroleptic Drugs and the Enigma of Schizophrenia

Dr. John L. Waddington, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2


Alterations in neurotransmitter receptors, neuroleptic drug action and cerebral structure with ageing, and their functional correlates, are reviewed as they relate to current hypotheses on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and its longitudinal course.  Some of the changes in course of illness and in response to neuroleptic treatment that can occur in schizophrenia may involve such age-dependent effects.  It is argued that atrophic processes of ‘normal’ ageing, which are subject to large individual differences, may interact importantly with the consequences of neurodevelopmental abnormality in schizophrenia to determine both clinical state and the sequelae of its treatment.


The ageing brain, neuroleptic drugs and the enigma of schizophrenia