This review will focus on the treatment and prevention of schizophrenia in children and adolescents. Neurodevelopmental theories suggest that loss of gray matter and defective synaptic function are major etiological factors in this disease. The efficacy of current antipsychotic medications has been discussed, however, these drugs produce serious side effects and may adversely affect the developing brain. We propose a novel therapeutic approach, termed neuroenhancement, that aims to promote neuronal survival and optimize neuronal function through the use of drugs. The goal is to enhance glucose metabolism in the brain, which would support higher functional activity in neurons and provide neuroprotection. Future drug development for the treatment of childhood schizophrenia should focus more on optimization of neuronal function rather than tranquilization and symptomatic relief.
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 01/2003; 3(1):29-40. · 2.83 Impact Factor