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High levels of glutamate in brain may kick-start schizophrenia
Date:4/18/2013

stage of disease. For these patients, treatment to control glutamate release might protect the hippocampus and prevent or slow the progression of psychosis.

Strategies to treat schizophrenia by reducing glutamate have been tried before, but with patients in whom the disease is more advanced. "Targeting glutamate may be more useful in high-risk people or in those with early signs of the disorder," said Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, a renowned expert in the field of schizophrenia, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at CUMC, and president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association. "Early intervention may prevent the debilitating effects of schizophrenia, increasing recovery in one of humankind's most costly mental disorders."

In an accompanying commentary, Bita Moghaddam, professor of neuroscience and of psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, suggests that if excess glutamate is driving schizophrenia in high-risk individuals, it may also explain why a patient's first psychotic episodes are often caused by periods of stress, since stress increases glutamate levels in the brain.


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Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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