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Metabolic Disturbances in Mental Illness: Neuropathogenetic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications

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Accumulated evidence suggests that patients suffering with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, have a higher risk to develop metabolic syndrome including weight gain, obesity, hyperlipidaemia, and insulin resistance, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Although ...

Accumulated evidence suggests that patients suffering with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, have a higher risk to develop metabolic syndrome including weight gain, obesity, hyperlipidaemia, and insulin resistance, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Although multiple factors have been proposed to explain the causes of these metabolic disturbances, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. Among them, antipsychotic drugs, particularly the second generation (or atypical) antipsychotics, have been proven as the largest contributors leading to such metabolic side-effects. Although antipsychotic drugs have been developed to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, they are also widely used in other mental disorders such as bipolar disorders, major depression, eating disorders and even substance abuse. In the past decades, there has been a sharp increase of antipsychotic prescriptions in children and adolescents. Consequently, such antipsychotic drug-induced metabolic side-effects become more frequent in paediatric patients than in adults.

The focus of this Research Topic is thus to address this critical issue by revealing the neuroendocrinological, neuropharmacological, genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic syndrome in mental illness, and their implications for prevention and treatment strategies.


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