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

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.


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

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