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Research In A New Direction To Develop Innovative Psychotropic Drugs

phrenia.

Because of limitations in animal models of complex psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, investigators were often not discouraged by negative results in key tests, particularly if other data seemed encouraging. Roth was surprised by his own findings: "When reviewing this data, we found that animal models were actually quite good at predicting results in human subjects."

However, the overall effectiveness of animal models for mood disorders is still unknown. "Some of these novel molecular targets may be much better than existing ones, but we won't know anything for sure until we have large scale clinical trials," said Manji.

Evaluating decades of research that failed to yield its intended results has provided investigators with insights on how to do better, the researchers believe. Several panel participants expressed the belief that past theories and practices that have been standard practice in new drug development for several decades must change, and new paradigms of mental illness should be embraced to guide future medication development and treatment practice.

"One of the primary reasons we have encountered such difficulty in developing treatments for schizophrenia and mood disorders is a lack of understanding of the diseases themselves," explained William Carpenter, MD, Director of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "We now have a better understanding of the complex nature of these illnesses, which affect multiple targets in the brain."

"What is different now is that we have the power of molecular biology combined with improved animal models to identify targets for the development of novel treatments for mood disorders and schizophrenia," noted Charney.

Source-Eurekalert
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