Navigation Links
Stopping schizophrenia before it starts?
Date:1/28/2010

The onset of schizophrenia is not easy to predict. Although it is associated with as many as 14 genes in the human genome, the prior presence of schizophrenia in the family is not enough to determine whether one will succumb to the mind-altering condition. The disease also has a significant environmental link.

According to Prof. Ina Weiner of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychology, the developmental disorder, which usually manifests in early adulthood, can be triggered in the womb by an infection. But unlike developmental disorders such as autism, it takes many years for the symptoms of schizophrenia to develop.

"Pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia remain unsatisfactory, so clinicians and researchers like myself have started to dig in another direction," says Prof. Weiner. "The big question asked in recent years is if schizophrenia can be prevented."

Revolutionizing the treatment

In their study, recently reported in Biological Psychiatry, Prof. Weiner and her colleagues Dr. Yael Piontkewiz and Dr. Yaniv Assaf sought to discover biological cues that would help trace the progression of the disease before symptoms manifested. "If progressive brain changes occur as schizophrenia is emerging, it is possible that these changes could be prevented by early intervention," she says. "That would revolutionize the treatment of the disorder.

"We wondered if we could use neuro-imaging to track any early-onset changes in the brains of laboratory animals," Prof. Weiner says. "If so, could these changes and their accompanying schizophrenia-like symptoms be prevented if caught early enough?"

Beyond a doubt

Prof. Weiner and her team gave pregnant rats a viral mimic known to induce a schizophrenia-like behavioral disorder in the offspring. This method simulates maternal infection in pregnancy, a well known risk factor for schizophrenia. Prof. Weiner demonstrated that the rat offspring were normal at birth and during adolescence. But in early adulthood, the animals, like their human counterparts, began to show schizophrenia-like symptoms.

Looking at brain scans and behavior, Prof. Weiner found abnormally developing lateral ventricles and the hippocampus in those rats with "schizophrenia." Those that were at high risk for the condition could be given drugs to treat their brains, she determined. Following treatment with risperidone and clozapine, two commonly used drugs to treat schizophrenia, brain scans showed that the lateral ventricles and the hippocampus retained a healthy size.

"Clinicians have suspected that these drugs can be used to prevent the onset of schizophrenia, but this is the first demonstration that such a treatment can arrest the development of brain deterioration," says Prof. Weiner. She says that the drugs work best when delivered during the rats' "adolescent" period, several months before they reached full maturity.

Now, anti-psychotics are prescribed only when symptoms are present. Prof. Weiner believes that an effective non-invasive prediction method (looking at the developmental trajectory of specific changes in the brain), coupled with a low dose drug taken during adolescence, could stave off schizophrenia in those most at risk.

More research is needed to see at what point changes in the brain can be detected, work that Prof. Weiner has already begun. She adds that the neuroimaging was performed in the Alfredo Federico Strauss Center for Computational Neuro-Imaging, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biophysics, Tel Aviv University.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Stopping harmful oral bacteria in its path is goal for Case Western Reserve researcher
2. Study shows promise for new cancer-stopping therapy
3. Blood protein may hold key to stopping tumor growth in cancer patients
4. University of Washington scientists one step closer to stopping bone loss during spaceflight
5. New Clues to Stopping Colitis-Linked Cancer
6. Stopping ovarian cancer by blocking proteins coded by notorious gene
7. UNC researchers find clue to stopping breast-cancer metastasis
8. Study Upholds Stopping Plavix Use Before Surgery
9. Frontline Caregiver Coalition to Bush Administration: Stopping Pending $770 Million Medicare Cut Most Important 2008 Health Policy Issue
10. Stopping Smoking in the Workplace Continues to Be a Challenge
11. Hydra Booster Energizes Ordinary Drinking Water for Better Absorption and Optimum Hydration, Stopping Symptoms of 'Hidden' Dehydration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Stopping schizophrenia before it starts?
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The ThedaCare ... San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The series is a multi-day, multi-workshop ... habits. The workshops cover a broad range of topics, including coaching skills, the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... , ... The Jones Agency, a family owned insurance company with offices serving ... charity drive with the Tarrant Area Food Bank in the hopes of alleviating hunger ... need, the Tarrant County Food Bank offers hope and security to the one in ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Miami Dental Specialists ... to their Miami dental office. Beginning in January, Miami Dental Specialists will offer ... Dental Specialists are the first office to be chosen by the dental implant manufacturer, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) ... PBMs,” an upcoming Feb. 24 webinar that will discuss ways health plans and ... such as the $1,000-per-pill hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi and high-cost PCSK9 inhibitors to ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... The Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center (CCASC) invites teens ages 11-18 to its annual Winter ... teens with and without special needs to gather in a safe and supportive environment. Volunteers ... will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Elks Lodge, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... --> ... Global Clinical Trials Review, H2, 2015 provides an ... trials landscape along with top level data related ... & E7), Trial Status, Trial Phase, Sponsor Type ... involved and enlists all trials (Trial title, Phase, ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016 Stem cells are primitive cells ... self-renewal and the capacity to differentiate into mature cell ... as the first mouse embryonic stem cells were derived ... 1995 that the first culturing of embryonic stem cells ... not produced until 2006 As a result of these ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Kindred Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: KIN ), a biopharmaceutical ... pets, today announced the submission to FDA of the ... (NADA) for Zimeta™ (dipyrone injection, KIND-012).  Positive topline results ... the control of pyrexia (fever) in horses were recently ... --> The Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls technical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: