Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows new antipsychotic drug prevents brain loss in schizophrenia

05.04.2005


A new brain imaging study of recently diagnosed schizophrenia patients has found, for the first time, that the loss of gray matter typically experienced by patients can be prevented by one of the new atypical antipsychotic drugs, olanzapine, but not by haloperidol, an older, conventional drug. The study, published in today’s Archives of General Psychiatry, also confirmed previous studies that show patients who experience less brain loss do better clinically.



"This is a really big breakthrough," says the study’s leader, Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. "The drugs we have for schizophrenia can’t cure people who’ve been sick for years, but this study shows that the newer atypical drugs, if started early, can prevent the illness from progressing. If our findings are confirmed, one could argue that we should treat new patients with atypical drugs like olanzapine rather than older conventional medications such as haloperidol and chlorpromazine."

Gray matter contains the bulk of the brains cell’s and the billions of connections among the cells. Loss of gray matter in patients with schizophrenia has been linked to social withdrawal and progressive deterioration in cognition and emotion--which are among the least responsive symptoms to medications.


To see if antipsychotic drugs could slow the initial brain changes in new patients, Dr. Lieberman and colleagues at 14 sites in North America and Europe measured brain volume and cognitive changes in 263 first-episode schizophrenia patients and 58 non-schizophrenic volunteers over a two-year period. Half of the patients received the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine and the other half took the conventional antipsychotic haloperidol. Dr. Lieberman initiated the study when he was professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, which also coordinated the research.

The study found that, on average, haloperidol-treated patients lost about two percent of their gray matter, or about 12 cubic centimeters. No changes were detected in the olanzapine-treated patients and the normal volunteers. Patients who lost gray matter, particularly in the frontal lobe of the brain, also had greater problems with cognitive functioning, as measured by tests of verbal fluency, verbal learning and memory.

Schizophrenia has always been known as a disease that causes progressive worsening of symptoms and deterioration in function, but only in the last 10 years have researchers found that the brains of schizophrenics are also progressively deteriorating.

"People used to think that the deterioration was inevitable, but now we’re thinking that if you can prevent the acute episodes of psychosis in schizophrenia you can actually stop the loss of gray matter," Dr. Lieberman says.

"It also gives us hope that we will be able to completely forestall the disease in the future by intervening before psychosis even begins," Dr. Lieberman adds. "In three to five years, we should have ways to identify which adolescents will become schizophrenic, and we can then begin to test the preventative power of treatments."

Karen Zipern | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.columbia.edu
http://www.cumc.columbia.edu
http://www.nyspi.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>