Workings Of Schizophrenia Drug May Lead To Improved Treatment Gary Payinda ----------------------------------- JHMI Office of Public Affairs The discovery by Hopkins researchers of sites in the brain where the anti-schizophrenia drug Clozapine works may lead to the development of new drugs that are as effective in treating the disease but without Clozapine's unpleasant side effects--from constipation and difficulty urinating to drooling. Clozapine has been widely used in the past five years as the drug of choice for patients who do not respond to conventional drug treatment for schizophrenia. It works by blocking a novel type of receptor in the brain, called the 5-HT6 receptor, said Solomon Snyder, director of neuroscience and senior author of the study, which was published in the May issue of Molecular Medicine. But his research found that Clozapine also blocks the acetylcholine receptors, which cause the side effects and often keeps it from being the first choice for every schizophrenia patient. "The next step is to create drugs that will target only the 5-HT6 receptors and not the acetylcholine receptors," Snyder said.
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