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.

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 August 27, 2014 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 August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) The World Health Organization called Tuesday on governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and young people. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) A British nurse infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone is being given the same experimental drug used on two US missionaries who have recovered for the disease, doctors in London say. Duration: 00:44 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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