Navigation Links
Pitt research identifies new target in brain for treating schizophrenia
Date:11/5/2008

PITTSBURGH--Research from the University of Pittsburgh could expand the options for controlling schizophrenia by identifying a brain region that responds to more than one type of antipsychotic drug. The findings illustrate for the first time that the orbitofrontal cortex could be a promising target for developing future antipsychotic drugseven those that have very different mechanisms of action. The study will be published during the week of Nov. 3 in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, with a print version to follow.

Bita Moghaddam, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences and the paper's lead author, found that schizophrenia-like activity in the orbitofrontal cortexa brain region responsible for cognitive activity such as decision makingcould be triggered by the two different neurotransmitters linked to schizophrenia: dopamine and glutamate. Brain activity was then normalized both by established antipsychotic medications that regulate only dopamine and by experimental treatments that specifically target glutamate.

"The orbitofrontal cortex is an area that's been somewhat neglected in schizophrenia research. This study should encourage researchers to focus on this brain region in imaging and other human studies, and also to use as a model for developing antipsychotic drugs," Moghaddam said. "Schizophrenia appears to be caused by very diverse and sometimes rare genetic mutations. Diverse mutations can end up causing the same disease if they disrupt the function of a common group of neurons or networks of neurons. We think that the key to understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and finding better treatments is to identify these networks. This data suggests that the orbitofrontal cortex may be a critical component in networks affected by schizophrenia."

Working with UPMC neurology resident Houman Homayoun, Moghaddam first established that dopamine and glutamate could, separately, produce schizophrenia-like symptoms in the orbitofrontal cortex. They first simulated symptoms brought on by irregular neural receptors of glutamate. Studies within the last few yearsincluding work by Moghaddam at Yale Universityhave shown that under-functioning glutamate receptors known as NMDA receptors can produce schizophrenia-like symptoms. Moghaddam and Homayoun found that stunting the NMDA receptors resulted in schizophrenia-like effects in the orbitofrontal cortex. The team also used a dose of amphetamine to simulate dopamine-related schizophrenia symptoms in the orbitofrontal cortex; schizophrenia is often linked to an excess of dopamine in the brain.

Moghaddam and Homayoun then tested the currently prescribed medicationa treatment developed more than 50 years ago that targets neural receptors of dopamineand new experimental drugs that work on the glutamate system. They found that both medications normalized brain activity.


'/>"/>

Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research conference at UH to focus on US troops needs, homeland security
2. Scripps research scientists identify compounds for stem-cell production from adult cells
3. State fund advances titanium powder research, 9 other Iowa State projects
4. Research shows that time invested in practicing pays off for young musicians
5. Trustee makes donation to start new solar energy research center at Rensselaer
6. NJIT seminar set for Nov. 6 to focus on bioelectronics -- emerging research area
7. Corn researchers discover novel gene shut-off mechanisms
8. Researchers at UH explore patient preferences for personalized medicine
9. OSAs ISP launches with research on breathing disorders and congenital heart defects
10. UC Davis researchers discover a key to aggressive breast cancer
11. Bayhill Therapeutics and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation announce research collaboration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016 ... identified that more than 23,000 public service employees either ... been receiving their salary unlawfully.    --> ... government identified that more than 23,000 public service employees ... had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    --> ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 2016  2016FLEX, organized by FlexTech, a SEMI ... in flexible, hybrid and printed electronics. More than ... have gathered for short courses, technical session, exhibits, ... The Flex Conference celebrates its 15 th ... organizations, and universities contributing to the adoption of ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... DUBLIN , March 1, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the  ... 2015-2019"  report to their offering. ... announced the addition of the  "Global ...  report to their offering. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 28, 2016 , ... Morris Midwest ( http://www.morrismidwest.com ), a ... at its Maple Grove, Minnesota technical center, May 11-12. The event will ... Almost 20 leading suppliers of tooling, accessories, software and other related technology will ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased ... has been a volunteer member of Committee since 1987. Since then, he has served ... and treasurer and was chairman for both the program and exposition committees. In his ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE ... Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR ) announced today ... Executive Officer, of United Therapeutics will provide an overview ... Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference. ... 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and can ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors in expanding the use ... , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the detection of harmful pathogens, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: