Schizophrenia is a serious and common disease that can cause hallucinations, delusions and apathy. Problems with memory, social cognition and other intellectual abilities are also common.
"Schizophrenic patients can be treated with anti-psychotic drugs, but the treatment does not help cognitive disturbances or impaired social function to any appreciable degree. We believe that this is due to an imbalance in the brain's nitric oxide system, and if this is the case, we may be able to develop a completely new type of treatment," says pharmacologist Caroline Wass.
In these studies, rate and mice were given a drug called phencyclidine. This substance causes a schizophrenia-like state in humans.
"Rats and mice don't become schizophrenic, but the drug has a similar effect on thought processes in rodents to the effect it has in humans," says Caroline Wass.
The animals' learning capacity, memory and social interaction were measured using several different behaviour models. When the animals were treated with a substance that blocks brain nitric oxide production, they became resistant to the schizophrenia-like effects of phencyclidine.
The research team will shortly initiate a patient study in order to find out whether blocking brain nitric oxide production can alleviate cognitive disturbances in patients with schizophrenia.
"In the future it is possible that drugs that affect the regulation of nitric oxide in the brain can be used to supplement currently existing anti-psychotic agents. The hope is that nitric oxide inhibiting drugs will alleviate the cognitive disturbances that also lie behind the impairments of social function, significantly improving the chances of a good life for schizophrenic patients," says Caroline Wass.SCHIZOPHRENIA FACTS
For further information contact: Caroline Wass, Pharmacologist, telephone: +46 (0)31 786 3420, +46 (0)70 498 4958, email: email@example.com Supervisors: Associate professor Lennart Svensson, telephone: +46 (0)31 786 3402, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Professor Jörgen Engel, telephone: +46 (0)31 786 3416, email: email@example.com Professor Trevor Archer, telephone: +46 (0)31 786 4694, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Daniel Klamer PhD, telephone: +46 (0)31 786 3403, email: email@example.comPressofficer: Elin Lindström Claessen; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Elin Lindström Claessen | idw
Nanocages in the lab and in the computer: how DNA-based dendrimers transport nanoparticles
19.10.2018 | University of Vienna
Less animal experiments on the horizon: Multi-organ chip awarded
19.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.
Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...
Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles
Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.
We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...
Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...
Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...
17.10.2018 | Event News
16.10.2018 | Event News
02.10.2018 | Event News
19.10.2018 | Life Sciences
19.10.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.10.2018 | Trade Fair News