It is an honor for me to write the foreword for the e-book “Classical neurotransmitters and neuropeptides involved in schizoaffective disorder: focus on prophylactic medication” by Dr. Felix-Martin Werner and Dr. Rafael Coveñas. Almost every productive and fantastic work in medicine is the result of expertise in different fields coming together and work towards the best interest of the patients and the scientific/academic community in particular and the mankind in general.
Psychiatric disorders in human make up a large group of mental diseases with a range of sign and symptoms that are caused by genetic problems and biological factors, stress, brain trauma, toxic substances and infections particularly during pregnancy that may affect the embryo, cancers, drug abuse and a history of abuse among many other causes that all may interfere with the normal brain performance by changing the structure and function of the different parts of the nervous system.
Several of these conditions lead to mental disorders due to an imbalance in the metabolism of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators among them, the neuropeptides. More information about mental disorders can be found elsewhere: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/ and https://www.nlm.nih.gov/ medlineplus/mentaldisorders.html.
Schizoaffective disorder is believed to be due to continuous psychotic behaviours accompanied by intermittent mood episodes such as major depressive and/or manic episodes. Several neurotransmitters have been implicated in schizophrenia and mood disorders. These include the dopamine in the case of schizophrenia and serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline among others in mood disorders. The hypothalamic neurohormonal pathway and a number of neuropeptides have also been implicated in schizoaffective disorder. Treatment with antipsychotic drugs, mood stabilizers and antidepressant medications is aimed to normalize the neurotransmitter(s) level while talk and group therapies, social support and work training aim to improve patients’ daily functions and social behaviour through other methods. There are still many unknowns and facts to learn in this field as sign and symptoms and the treatment outcome may differ from patient to patient.
The current book is a very well written and easy to understand comprehensive text of schizoaffective disorder dissecting the brain and other regions involved in the disease and its pathophysiology, describing the various causes of the disease including the genetic and epigenetics and its current and various modes of treatments and future directions.
The current e-book “Classical neurotransmitters and neuropeptides involved in schizoaffective disorder: focus on prophylactic medication” by Dr. Werner and Dr. Coveñas is a unique collection of practical details and case reports and is a great asset to education, research, and clinical practice of psychiatry and psychology.
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences (BSBS),
College of Medicine, University of Central Florida,
4000 Central Florida Blvd., HPA-II 320
Orlando, FL 32816
Patients with a schizoaffective disorder are met regularly in the psychiatrist’s practice and in psychiatric wards. Schizophrenic and affective symptoms show a great variety and the courses of the disease can have different outcomes. For patients’ rehabilitation and social integration into the familiar and, in some cases working lives, a prophylactic medication is of great importance. Because we have been working on classical neurotransmitters and neuropeptides involved in schizophrenia and in affective diseases, we describe here the alterations of these neuroactive substances in the brain regions involved in the schizophrenic and affective symptoms. In that way, possibilities of finding new agents acting at specific receptors of classical neurotransmitters and neuropeptides are pointed out. The schizoaffective disorder, which has a prevalance of 0.5% in the population, is undoubtedly an inheritable disease with an environment-gene interaction. Some of the discovered susceptibility genes and the functions of the encoded neuroactive substances involved in the pathophysiology of the disease are pointed out. We have established the relationships between the hypothalamic-adrenal axis and the altered neural networks found in the brain areas involved in schizophrenic and affective symptoms. Because we have published several review articles about neural networks in schizophrenia and major depression, we extended here these neural networks to the brain regions involved in schizophrenic and affective symptoms. An essential chapter has been focused on the prophylactic medication. The different prophylactic medications consider the different forms of the disease. Besides, adverse effects and disease symptoms are mentioned, and the additional pharmacotherapies of these adverse effects and symptoms are mentioned, including the current availabe drugs. Some recently developed antipsychotic drugs such as lurasidone and cariprazine with a different mechanism of action are included as well. Patients’ well being is very important. Therefore, it is essential to choose an appropriate prophylactic drug and to support the patients’ adherence to the pharmacotherapy through psychoeducation and a social integration. Moreover, this e-book gives a hint to pharmaceutical firms to improve the prophylactic medication by presenting the specific subreceptors involved, on which new pharmacological agents could exert an improved or additional therapeutic effect.
The authors would like to thank Mr. Nikolas Skinner (University of Salamanca, Spain) for revising the English language
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declare that this ebook contents have no conflicts of interest.
Euro Akademie Pößneck
Higher Vocational School for Elderly Care and Occupational Therapy
University of Salamanca
Institute of Neurosciences of Castilla y León (INCYL)
Laboratory of Neuroanatomy of the Peptidergic Systems (Lab.14)
c/ Pintor Fernando Gallego, 1
List of Contributors