Navigation Links
Studies suggest new brain protein may help in treating schizophrenia, insomnia and anxiety

A small protein in the brain that has only recently been discovered and, paradoxically, induces both profound wakefulness and a less anxious state, may represent a novel target for the treatment of psychotic behavior and schizophrenia, according to new research presented at the 6th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN 2006). ICN 2006 is being held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh June 19 ?22.

Neuropeptide S (NPS), so named by Rainer K. Reinscheid, Ph.D., assistant professor, Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, Irvine, is produced by a small cluster of cells in the brainstem, yet its specialized receptors are found in several areas of the brain, including those that are associated with the regulation of arousal, sleep and wakefulness, anxiety, appetite, learning and memory. Dr. Reinscheid and his colleagues reported finding the new neuropeptide just last year and described animal studies showing how binding of NPS to its receptors on the surfaces of neurons promotes strong arousal, suppresses all phases of sleep and lessens anxiety in stressful or unfamiliar situations.

Now, at ICN 2006, Dr. Reinscheid's group reports how NPS also can reduce the biochemical and behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia in an established animal model for this mental illness that affects some 2 million Americans. Animals pretreated with NPS before receiving a drug that normally induces psychotic-like behaviors did not develop the signature behavioral symptoms and neurochemical features of schizophrenia, reported Naoe Okamura, M.D., Ph.D., who is a co-worker of Dr. Reinscheid at the University of California, Irvine.

"Although preliminary, our animal studies indicate the NPS receptor should be explored as a target for the development of novel antipsychotic drugs. Whether molecules activating the NPS system will prove to be better drugs than others used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia remains to be seen. We still have a very long way to go before proving it can alleviate symptoms in humans as we've seen it do in rodents," said Dr. Reinscheid.

"We've already seen how NPS is unique, being able to modulate both arousal and stress responses. So it could potentially be a target for drugs to treat anxiety and, interestingly, both insomnia and narcolepsy," he added.

The receptor for NPS belongs to a class of those with similar structure called G protein-coupled receptors. Collectively, they have a hand in modulating most every physiological process in the body and brain. Moreover, according to Dr. Reinscheid, about 40 percent of drugs on the market target the function and various actions of these receptors.

Dr. Reinscheid's lab is only beginning to understand how the NPS system works. Thus far, the team's research suggests it acts much like an excitatory neurotransmitter that initiates an impulse by the receiving neuron. Currently, the team is looking at whether natural mutations in the genes of NPS and its receptor might be associated with mental disorders and developing animal models that lack parts of the NPS system in order to better understand its functions.


'"/>

Source:University of Pittsburgh Medical Center


Related biology news :

1. Studies reveal methods viruses use to sidestep immune system
2. Studies reveal how plague disables immune system, and how to exploit the process to make a vaccine
3. Studies clarify risk factors for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus
4. Studies on human genome variation provide insight into disease
5. Studies find general mechanism of cellular aging
6. Studies look at how genes affect antipsychotic drug response
7. Studies yield insight into the numerical brain
8. Studies force new view on biology of flavonoids
9. New studies suggest airborne SARS transmission is possible
10. Insight into natural cholesterol control suggests novel cholesterol-lowering therapy
11. Light therapy may combat fungal infections, new evidence suggests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... April 27, 2016 Research ... Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal ... 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal ... sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining ... if clinically relevant data were available when and where it was needed. The ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Cell therapies ... will be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) that yielded a ... and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed by WPI faculty members Raymond ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... PrecisionAg® Media has released ... and Beyond. The paper outlines the key trends that are creating both opportunities ... witnessed a lot of highs and lows as the precision agriculture market has ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman ... Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment and the other for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: