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General Health Channel
Reported April 14, 2014

Closing in on the Mystery of Schizophrenia

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – In an attempt to understand exactly what happens in the brain of schizophrenic people, researchers form the University of Southern Denmark have analyzed proteins  in the brains of rats that have been given hallucinogenic drugs.  Researchers believe this may lead to newer, better medicines. 

Seven percent of adults suffer from schizophrenia.  Scientists have tried for centuries to understand the disease, but they still do not know what causes the disease or which physiological changes it causes in the body.  Doctors cannot make the diagnosis by looking for specific physiological changes in the patient’s blood or tissue, but have to diagnose from behavioral symptoms. 

For the study, researchers gave the hallucinogenic drug phenocyclidine (PCP), also called “angel’s dust,” to rats because it provides a range of symptoms in people that are similar to schizophrenia.   Then, scientists measured the rats’ brain cells.  After 15 minutes, researchers could see changes in proteins in the brain. "We found 2604 proteins, and in 352 of them, we saw changes that can be associated with the PCP injections. These 352 proteins will be extremely interesting to study in closer detail to see if they also alter in people with schizophrenia - and if that's the case, it will of course be interesting to try to develop a drug that can prevent the protein changes that lead to schizophrenia," Ole Nørregaard Jensen, professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was quoted as saying.

For more information, got to: http://sdu.dk/en/Om_SDU/Fakulteterne/Naturvidenskab/Nyheder/2014_04_11_protein_schizophrenia

SOURCE: University of Southern Denmark, April 2014

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