Biomarkers May Help in the Advancement of New Schizophrenia Drugs


The exact reason for schizophrenia isn’t known but a combination of altered brain chemistry and structure, genetics and environment may assume a part. Schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized speech or behavior, thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality,  that appear to be distant from reality and decreased participation in daily activities.

As per the new study, it recognized that biomarkers may help in the advancement of better treatments for schizophrenia. The discoveries are published online in JAMA Psychiatry.In the previous two decades, the pharmaceutical industry has spent over $2.5 billion in the continuous effort to grow better schizophrenia medications. Be that as it may, while some of these medications seem to be effective in animal models, most come up short when tried in late-stage human clinical trials.

Daniel Javitt, M.D., Ph.D., teacher of psychiatry and Director of the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) said,  “While a lot of money has been put resources into finding schizophrenia drugs, a comparable investment hasn’t been made to create biomarkers that could enhance the unwavering reliability and consistency of test outcomes.”

A new proposal called the FAST Initiative was set up by the National Institute of Mental Health to approve the utilization of biomarkers to encourage drug advancement. The activity lines up with the 21st Century Cures Act passed a year ago by Congress which approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to endorse medications in view of biomarker information alone and made a formal Biomarker Qualification Program.

During the research, FAST-Psychosis researchers discovered biomarkers utilizing MRI applications to help the development of medications that objective the glutamate system. Past research has demonstrated that medications, for example, phencyclidine (PCP or “angel dust”) and ketamine, which block glutamate receptors, cause schizophrenia-like symptoms in healthy volunteers.

Consequently, the researchers examined three potential biomarkers for identifying the impacts of ketamine on human brain function. A standout amongst the most critical biomarkers included an increase in blood flow in the brain’s frontal regions identified reliably among participants who were briefly exposed to ketamine. It additionally reliably recognized them from the individuals who had been given a placebo.

Another measure of the concentration of glutamate/glutamine was likewise sensitive to ketamine brain impacts. Overall, the biomarkers were effective in who had been given ketamine, identifying more than 90 percent of members and separating them from those in the placebo group.Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., the Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at CUMC, and principal investigator of this examination said,”These outcomes empower us to decide if potential medicines will be viable against patients’ side effects by testing them first in healthy volunteers and characterizing the best doses based on objective physiological information before leading expensive clinical trials.”

The study discoveries will be the principal target biomarkers enlisted to allow approval of new glutamate- modulating medicines for schizophrenia if the biomarkers are approved by the FDA.


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