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Potential new approach to treat cognitive impairments in schizophrenia
Date:9/24/2007

Philadelphia, PA, September 24, 2007 -- A new study reports important evidence for a potential new treatment approach for those diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is considered one of the most devastating of the major psychiatric disorders, which has three distinct facets, often referred to as positive (hallucinations, delusions), negative (blunted emotions, reduced capacity for pleasure), and cognitive (impairments in attention, memory, and problem-solving) symptoms. The cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia are the aspect of this disorder most strongly associated with the inability to function in the workplace.

The medications currently approved to treat schizophrenia block a subclass of dopamine receptors (dopamine D2 receptors). They have limited efficacy in treating the negative and cognitive symptoms of this disorder and they are frequently associated with significant side effects. Hence, there is an acute need to develop alternative treatments for schizophrenia that have fewer side effects and are more effective in treating cognitive and negative symptoms of the disorder, according to the authors of this study, scheduled for publication in Biological Psychiatry on October 1st.

Multidisciplinary work has led to the emergence of the glutamate system as a promising therapeutic target for [the] treatment of schizophrenia, says Bita Moghaddam, Ph.D., the corresponding author on the study. Abnormal function of brain circuits that utilize glutamate as a chemical messenger, particularly in brain regions including the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, has been implicated in the cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. The glutamate-related circuit dysfunction associated with schizophrenia may be modeled, to a meaningful extent, by blocking the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptor. The authors now report that by administering 3-cyano-N-(1,3-diphenyl-1H-pyrazol-5-yl)benzamide or CDPPB, a drug that stimulates
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Contact: Jayne Dawkins
ja.dawkins@elsevier.com
215-239-3674
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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