The muscarinic system, cognition and schizophrenia

Sean Carruthers, Caroline T. Gurvich, Susan Rossell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


An increasing body of evidence has implicated the central muscarinic system as contributing to a number of symptoms of schizophrenia and serving as a potential target for pharmaceutical interventions. A theoretical review is presented that focuses on the central muscarinic system's contribution to the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. The aim is to bridge the void between pertinent neuropsychological and neurobiological research to provide an explanatory account of the role that the central muscarinic system plays in the symptoms of schizophrenia. First, there will be a brief overview of the relevant neuropsychological schizophrenia literature, followed by a concise introduction to the central muscarinic system. Subsequently, we will draw from animal, neuropsychological and pharmacological literature, and discuss the findings in relation to cognition, schizophrenia and the muscarinic system. Whilst unifying the multiple domains of research into a concise review will act as a useful line of enquiry into the central muscarinic systems contribution to the symptoms of schizophrenia, it will be made apparent that more research is needed in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-402
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Acetylcholine
  • Anti-muscarinic psychosis
  • Anti-muscarinic Syndrome
  • Attention
  • Cholinergic
  • Cognition
  • Executive functioning
  • Learning
  • M1 receptor
  • M4 receptor
  • Memory
  • Muscarinic
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Xanomeline

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