Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Dimmer switch' drug idea could tackle schizophrenia without side effects

Date:
August 11, 2014
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
The discovery of a new mechanism of drug action could lead to the next generation of drugs to treat schizophrenia. Affecting one per cent of the world's population, schizophrenia is a major health condition. It affects a person's ability to think, feel and act and is associated with distressing symptoms including hallucinations and delusions.

Discovery of a new mechanism of drug action could lead to the next generation of drugs to treat schizophrenia.

Related Articles


Affecting one per cent of the world's population, schizophrenia is a major health condition. It affects a person's ability to think, feel and act and is associated with distressing symptoms including hallucinations and delusions.

New Monash University findings, published in the journal, Nature Chemical Biology, offer hope of a new class of drug that can act as a "dimmer switch" to control schizophrenia, without causing some of the common side effects associated with current anti-psychotic medicines.

One of the lead researchers of the study, Dr Rob Lane from the Monash Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) said all current anti-psychotic medicines block the action of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, at a brain protein called the dopamine D2 receptor, resulting in serious side effects.

"These medications frequently result in serious side effects because this protein is also important for the control of movement. The side-effects can sometimes persist even after the patient has stopped taking the medication," Dr Lane said.

Co-lead researcher Professor Arthur Christopoulos, said gaining a better understanding of the biology of schizophrenia will lead to more effective drugs.

"The idea behind our research is to develop a drug that doesn't completely block dopamine. We found a molecule that, rather than blocking the effect of dopamine at the D2 receptor, acts to subtly dial down dopamine's effect, a bit like a dimmer switch," Professor Christopoulos said.

"This means that if we can get just the right amount of dial-down, we could treat the symptoms of the disease and avoid some of these side-effects.

"We're a long way yet from developing a drug, but our dimmer switch approach to controlling schizophrenia means it's conceivable we could have a whole new class of anti-psychotics in the future."

The research team also found a unique twist with the molecule, its mechanism of action changed depending on the arrangement of the D2 receptor in the brain.

Dr Lane said not only does this represent a new approach to develop anti-psychotics, it gives researchers more information about the protein involved in the disease.

"This extra information will help researchers develop new drugs that target the protein," Dr Lane said.

The next phase of the research will see Dr Lane and Professor Christopoulos collaborate with chemists at MIPS to try to develop a better version of the drug used in the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monash University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J Robert Lane, Prashant Donthamsetti, Jeremy Shonberg, Christopher J Draper-Joyce, Samuel Dentry, Mayako Michino, Lei Shi, Laura López, Peter J Scammells, Ben Capuano, Patrick M Sexton, Jonathan A Javitch, Arthur Christopoulos. A new mechanism of allostery in a G protein–coupled receptor dimer. Nature Chemical Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.1593

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "'Dimmer switch' drug idea could tackle schizophrenia without side effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811125124.htm>.
Monash University. (2014, August 11). 'Dimmer switch' drug idea could tackle schizophrenia without side effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811125124.htm
Monash University. "'Dimmer switch' drug idea could tackle schizophrenia without side effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811125124.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) — A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) — According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
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