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(p. 225) Stress and Schizophrenia 

(p. 225) Stress and Schizophrenia
(p. 225) Stress and Schizophrenia

Richard McCarty

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date: 25 May 2020

Developing animal models of schizophrenia is challenging because of the uniquely human nature of some of the classic symptoms of the disorder (e.g., hallucinations, delusions, disordered thought). Several efforts have been guided by the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia and have included exposure of animals to stressful stimulation. Other animal models have involved prenatal exposure to maternal immune activation or drugs that disrupt neuronal development, followed by stress during adolescence or in early adulthood to unmask vulnerabilities. Neonatal hippocampal lesions have been employed in other animal models of schizophrenia. Another profitable approach has been to selectively breed laboratory mice or rats for their susceptibility to dopaminergic drugs. A more recent approach has been to develop laboratory mice with targeted alterations in risk genes for schizophrenia that were previously identified in clinical studies. In many cases, the effects of these risk genes are unmasked by exposure of animals to stressful stimulation during specific stages of postnatal development.

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