Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer drugs may help treatment of schizophrenia

Date:
July 20, 2011
Source:
King's College London
Summary:
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.

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.

Related Articles


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.'

The research was funded by the Medical Research Council UK (MRC), the National Institutes of Health (USA), the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Germany and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinshaft.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by King's College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. O. Engmann, T. Hortobagyi, R. Pidsley, C. Troakes, H.-G. Bernstein, M. R. Kreutz, J. Mill, M. Nikolic, K. P. Giese. Schizophrenia is associated with dysregulation of a Cdk5 activator that regulates synaptic protein expression and cognition. Brain, 2011; DOI: 10.1093/brain/awr155

Cite This Page:

King's College London. "Cancer drugs may help treatment of schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720121900.htm>.
King's College London. (2011, July 20). Cancer drugs may help treatment of schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720121900.htm
King's College London. "Cancer drugs may help treatment of schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720121900.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins