Proteins may hold key to treating schizophrenia
A new study has revealed that the physiological signature of schizophrenia lies in the measurable proteins in brains.
The researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have analyzed proteins in the brains of rats that have been given hallucinogenic drugs and believe that knowing these proteins and comparing their behavior to proteins in the brains of not-schizophrenic people may make it possible to develop more effective drugs.
The researchers said that when they gave rats hallucinogenic drug phenocyclidine (PCP), which provides a range of symptoms in people that are very similar to schizophrenia, the rats become valuable study objects for schizophrenia researchers.
Ole Norregaard Jensen said that scientists have studied PCP rats for decades, but until now no one really knew what was going on in the rat brains at the molecular level, but could now see changes in the proteins in the brain already after 15 minutes. And after 240 minutes, it was almost over.
The researchers said that they found 2604 proteins, and in 352 of them, we saw changes that can be associated with the PCP injections and theses proteins responded immediately when the animals were exposed to the drug.
The drug made proteins turn on or off when they should not turn on and off, which started a chain reaction of other disturbances in the molecular network around the proteins, such as changes in metabolism and calcium balance.
(Posted on 14-04-2014)
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