Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Breakthrough That Could Help Silence The 'Voices' Of Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced yesterday that they have isolated and characterized a small segment of RNA known as “microRNA” that may hold promise in silencing the bothersome voices which haunt schizophrenic patients. By manipulating this small segment of RNA, the researchers hope to restore normal function to the brain circuit associated with the 'voices' and well as other types of hallucinations associated with schizophrenia. Ultimately, this finding is important because it may serve as a target for developing novel antipsychotic drugs, but without the bothersome side effects (sedation, blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, weight gain) that currently reduce compliance and thus limit their effectiveness."It would help a lot if they can find something that reduces voices.  To do without medication would be great it is the medication that stops most people with this illness find work.  It is hard to work when your medication gets in the way.  Like sedation when you have to stay alert to do your job.
The article continues: "The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine. The researchers used mice to build this particular model that isolates the specific area of the genome associated with such auditory hallucinations. In fact, their work is an extension of previous St. Jude research that details the molecular mechanism that inhibits a neural circuit connecting two areas of the brain associated with processing auditory information. More importantly, the research also yields insight into why psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia are typically delayed until late adolescence or early adulthood." Again my did not come into my late twenties.  Although looking back when I was married I feel that some symptoms were showing.
The article ends: "'In 2014, we identified the specific circuit in the brain that is targeted by antipsychotic drugs. However, the existing antipsychotics also cause devastating side effects,' said corresponding author Stanislav Zakharenko, M.D., Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology. 'In this study, we identified the microRNA that is a key player in disruption of that circuit and showed that depletion of the microRNA was necessary and sufficient to inhibit normal functioning of the circuit in the mouse models. We also found evidence suggesting that the microRNA, named miR-338-3p, could be targeted for development of a new class of antipsychotic drugs with fewer side effects,' he added.'" Fewer side effects would be great I battle to keep the weight off.  I walk and eat less then a normal person.

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