Acta Scientific Neurology (ASNE) (ISSN: 2582-1121)

Case Report Volume 3 Issue 5

Enhancement of Function of the Prefrontal Cortex to Improve Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Prajjita Sarma Bardoloi*

Psychiatrist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital II, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

*Corresponding Author: Prajjita Sarma Bardoloi, Psychiatrist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital II, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

Received: April 01, 2020; Published: April 28, 2020



 Schizophrenia is a chronic psychotic illness with multifactorial etiology that manifests with a constellation of positive, negative, affective and cognitive symptoms [1]. As we are learning more about the neurobiology of schizophrenia, the role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in schizophrenia has become more evident. While various medications are available to treat psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia, treatment of cognitive functions, residual symptoms and comorbid disorders is still a substantial challenge. Here we present a case of a young male who suffers from schizophrenia, with a previous diagnosis of ADHD and substance abuse, who showed remarkable improvement following treatment with the alpha-2A adrenergic agonist guanfacine, likely related to enhanced PFC function.

Keywords: Schizophrenia; Prefrontal Cortex (PFC); Dopaminergic (DA)



  1. “Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders”. 5th Washington, DC [u.a.]: American Psychiatric Publication (2013).
  2. Lewis DA and Lieberman JA. “Catching up on schizophrenia: Natural history and neurobiology”. Neuron2 (2000): 325-334.
  3. Bonelli RM and Cummings JL. “Frontal-subcortical circuitry and behavior”. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 2 (2007): 141-151.
  4. Selemon LD and Zecevic N. “Schizophrenia: A tale of two critical periods for prefrontal cortical development”. Translational Psychiatry 8 (2015): e623.
  5. Selemon LD and Goldman-Rakic PS. “The reduced neuropil hypothesis: A circuit based model of schizophrenia”. Biological Psychiatry1 (1999): 17-25.
  6. Schubert D., et al. “Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders”. Molecular Psychiatry 7 (2015): 795-809.
  7. Hoftman GD., et al. “Layer 3 excitatory and inhibitory circuitry in the prefrontal cortex: Developmental trajectories and alterations in schizophrenia”. Biological Psychiatry 10 (2016): 862-873.
  8. McEwen B and Morrison J. “The brain on stress: Vulnerability and plasticity of the prefrontal cortex over the life course”. Neuron1 (2013): 16-29.
  9. Datta D and Arnsten AFT. “Unique molecular regulation of higher-order prefrontal cortical circuits: Insights into the neurobiology of schizophrenia”. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 9 (2018): 2127-2145.
  10. Perlstein WM., et al. “Relation of prefrontal cortex dysfunction to working memory and symptoms in schizophrenia”. American Journal of Psychiatry 7 (2001): 1105-1113.
  11. Glantz LA and Lewis DA. “Decreased dendritic spine density on prefrontal cortical pyramidal neurons in schizophrenia”. Archives of General Psychiatry 1 (2000): 65-73.
  12. Van Os J., et al. “The environment and schizophrenia”. Nature7321 (2010): 203-212.
  13. Van Os J., et al. “Gene-environment interactions in schizophrenia: Review of epidemiological findings and future directions”. Schizophrenia Bulletin 6 (2008): 1066-1082.
  14. Hoffmann M. “The human frontal lobes and frontal network systems: An evolutionary, clinical, and treatment perspective”. ISRN Neurology (2013): 892459-892434.
  15. Miller E and Wallis J. Executive function and higher-order cognition: Definition and neural substrates (2009).
  16. Arnsten A and LI B. “Neurobiology of executive functions: Catecholamine influences on prefrontal cortical functions”. Biological Psychiatry 11 (2004): 1377-1384.
  17. Funahashi S and Andreau JM. “Prefrontal cortex and neural mechanisms of executive function”. Journal of Physiology - Paris 6 (2013): 471-482.
  18. Xing B., et al. “Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex”. Brain Research 1641 (2016): 217-233.
  19. Petanjek Z., et al. “The protracted maturation of associative layer IIIC pyramidal neurons in the human prefrontal cortex during childhood: A major role in cognitive development and selective alteration in autism”. Frontiers in psychiatry 10 (2019): 122.
  20. Birnbaum SG., et al. “Protein kinase C overactivity impairs prefrontal cortical regulation of working memory”. Science5697 (2004): 882-884.
  21. Wang M., et al. “α2A-adrenoceptors strengthen working memory networks by inhibiting cAMP-HCN channel signaling in prefrontal cortex”. Cell 2 (2007): 397-410.
  22. Arnsten AFT. “Stress signalling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function”. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 6 (2009): 410-422.
  23. Bitanihirwe BKY., et al. “Glutamatergic deficits and parvalbumin-containing inhibitory neurons in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia”. BMC Psychiatry 1 (2009): 71.
  24. Goldman-Rakic PS. “Cellular basis of working memory”. Neuron3 (1995): 477-485.
  25. Ferguson BR and Gao W. “PV interneurons: Critical regulators of E/I balance for prefrontal cortex-dependent behavior and psychiatric disorders”. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 12 (2018): 37.
  26. Arnsten AFT., et al. “Dynamic network connectivity: A new form of neuroplasticity”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (2010): 365-375.
  27. Arnsten AFT. “Stress weakens prefrontal networks: Molecular insults to higher cognition”. Nature Neuroscience 10 (2015): 1376-1385.
  28. Gamo NJ., et al. “Stress impairs prefrontal cortical function via D1 dopamine receptor interactions with hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channels”. Biological Psychiatry 12 (2015): 860-870.
  29. Jin LE., et al. “mGluR2/3 mechanisms in primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: Evidence for both presynaptic and postsynaptic actions”. Molecular Psychiatry 11 (2017): 1615-1625.
  30. Hains AB., et al. “Chronic stimulation of alpha-2A-adrenoceptors with guanfacine protects rodent prefrontal cortex dendritic spines and cognition from the effects of chronic stress”. Neurobiology of Stress 2 (2015): 1-9.


Citation: Prajjita Sarma Bardoloi. “Enhancement of Function of the Prefrontal Cortex to Improve Symptoms of Schizophrenia".Acta Scientific Neurology 3.5 (2020): 19-23.


Acceptance rate32%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days

Indexed In

News and Events

  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is May 30, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US