Schizophrenia - Better Treatments on The Horizon
Ever since it’s discovery in the early 20th
century, Schizophrenia remains a difficult mental disorder to assess with few
treatment options. Typically, your psychiatrist will use a type of medication
called atypical antipsychotics that will treat your psychotic symptoms and
reduce the risk of future psychotic episodes. He or she may have put you on drugs
such as Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon, Abilify and Invega. These
medications are safer than their typical antipsychotic predecessors, but can
still have serious
side effects such as stroke, diabetes, tardive dyskinesia and weight gain.
However, thanks to medical research, you can look forward to better treatment
methods for dealing with your mental illness.
believe that studying the genome can allow us to understand better why certain
people are susceptible to mental illnesses. For example, in the journal Nature,
a research group found 83 new genetic locations associated with
Schizophrenia that were not previously reported. And in Psychiatric
Genetics, researchers discovered “that people with a variant in the (GRM3) gene have a 2- to
3-fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia or alcohol dependence and
about a 3-fold increased risk of developing bipolar disorder.” The question is, what do these
complex scientific discoveries mean?
David Curtis, MD, PhD,
FRCPsych, from University College London in the United Kingdom says that
"We could be looking at the next big drug target for treating mental
term," Dr. Curtis said, "it should help us understand what goes wrong
in schizophrenia and assist us in developing new and better treatments”. Dr. Curtis believes that the
best place to start would be to create drugs that address the genetic problem
Unfortunately, the common drug
treatments for Schizophrenia haven’t
changed much, which is why it is important for the research effort to continue.
The team at the Medical Research Group
of Central Florida is proud to be part of this effort. In our newest study
called Pharmacogenomics, we are able to determine the optimal treatment plan
for an individual by identifying their genes from a human sample of a mouth
swab. This effort is currently ongoing, and is of great benefit if you want to know
what medications will work best for you. We also are conducting a schizophrenia
study for people ages 13-65 who are dealing with Schizophrenia disorder. Call
or click today to learn more about our efforts and how you can enroll in either
our Schizophrenia or DNA testing studies.