Cancer drugs may help treatment of schizophrenia
Researchers have revealed the molecular pathway that is affected during the onset of schizophrenia and successfully alleviated symptoms of the illness in mice, using a commonly used cancer drug.
The research, published online in the journal Brain, is from a group led by Professor Peter Giese at King's College London, and offers new avenues for drug discovery.
Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental health conditions in the UK, and affects about 24 million people worldwide. The illness is a long-term mental health condition that causes a number of psychological symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions as well as behaviour changes. The exact cause of the illness is unknown, although it is generally believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
According to the World Health Organization, 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia are in developing countries. Current treatments for schizophrenia include both psychological treatments such as psychotherapy, counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy and/or medication. However, many of the antipsychotic drugs or major tranquillisers used to treat or manage the illness have very bad side-effects.
Professor Giese, based at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's, said: 'For the first time we have found that an enzyme activator called p35 is reduced in patients with schizophrenia and moreover, modelling this reduction in mice led to cognitive impairment typical for this disease. This gives us a better understanding of the changes that occur in the brain during the onset of schizophrenia.'
Proper brain development is ensured, in part, by the activation of a protein in the brain called Cdk5. The activation of Cdk5 requires the presence of an enzyme in the brain, called p35. The research found that in human post-mortem brains, there was approximately 50% less p35 in the brains of patients who had suffered from schizophrenia.
These molecular changes were then modelled and monitored in mice that had been modified to contain a comparable reduction in the p35 enzyme. As a result of this reduction in p35, the mice showed a reduction in synaptic proteins important in maintaining neural connections and displayed symptoms associated with schizophrenia, including learning impairments and inability to react to sensory stimuli.
Understanding this signalling pathway and the impact of low levels of p35, is important in finding potential future treatments for the disease.
Professor Giese continues: 'We noted that the reduction in p35 affects the same molecular changes targeted by a cancer drug called MS-275, so we administered this drug to the mice. We were excited to find that MS-275 not only addressed the molecular changes but also alleviated the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.'
He concludes: 'Our findings encourage the future exploration of these types of drugs for treating impaired cognition in schizophrenia.'
More information: Schizophrenia is associated with dysregulation of a Cdk5 activator that regulates synaptic protein expression and cognition, Brain, DOI: 1093/brain/awr155
Provided by King's College London
- Schizophrenia improved by mental and physical exercise Aug 02, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- New brain link as cause of schizophrenia Oct 27, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Schizophrenia linked to dysfunction in molecular brain pathway activated by marijuana Jul 07, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- MRI may help predict schizophrenia Dec 08, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Brain chemical finding could open door to new schizophrenia drugs Sep 30, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
3 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
New research shows that craving drugs such as nicotine can be visualized in specific regions of the brain that are implicated in determining the value of actions, in planning actions and in motivation. Dr. Alain Dagher, from ...
Neuroscience 53 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
Neuroscience 17 hours ago | 5 / 5 (6) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
Neuroscience 21 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (15) | 0 |
You're standing near an airport luggage carousel and your bag emerges on the conveyor belt, prompting you to spring into action. How does your brain make the shift from passively waiting to taking action when ...
Neuroscience 22 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
Neuroscience 23 hours ago | 4.3 / 5 (6) | 0 |
Research presented today shows that high-fructose corn syrup can cause behavioural reactions in rats similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine. These results, presented by addiction expert Francesco Leri, ...
55 minutes ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0
On May 22, JoVE will publish details of a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age. The method is demonstrated by the laboratory of Dr. Gil Atzmon at New York's Albert Einste ...
53 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Those who tend to say "yes" when faced with this classic dilemma are likely to be deficient in a specific kind of empathy, according to a report published in the scientific journal ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Medical researchers discover new ways to target, develop and design drugs to prevent and treat viral infection
Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new drug target, developed a new drug and identified a new way to design drugs—all of which could be a winning combination in the battle against viruses.
2 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |