Supplement: Molecular Mysteries

1,2 "They have positive symptoms, they have negative symptoms, they have cognitive deficits that look very much like what you see in schizophrenia," says NYU's Javitt. For example, NMDA receptors are involved in the formation of memories but not in the retention of old memories; similarly, patients with schizophrenia have trouble forming, but not retaining, memories, Javitt says. NMDA receptors are also involved in pitch matching in the auditory cortex and in certain visual tasks, and schiz

Melinda Wenner
Nov 30, 2007
1,2 "They have positive symptoms, they have negative symptoms, they have cognitive deficits that look very much like what you see in schizophrenia," says NYU's Javitt.

For example, NMDA receptors are involved in the formation of memories but not in the retention of old memories; similarly, patients with schizophrenia have trouble forming, but not retaining, memories, Javitt says. NMDA receptors are also involved in pitch matching in the auditory cortex and in certain visual tasks, and schizophrenia patients have trouble detecting changes in pitch and in performing certain visual tasks.

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Schizophrenia in the prefrontal cortex
Postmortem studies have reported that subjects with schizophrenia have (1) fewer neurons in the mediodorsal (MD) thalamic nucleus; (2) diminished density of certain parvalbumin-positive synapses where MD neurons project into the prefrontal cortex (PFC); (3) lower spine density on the basilar dendrites of deep layer 3 pyramidal neurons, the principal targets of...