Although the research is in its early stages, the finding comes at a crucial time. Most existing drugs to treat schizophrenia work in similar ways, targeting dopamine receptors in the brain, but many patients don’t respond well to the medications or can’t tolerate the side effects.
The investigators, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, SAGE Therapeutics and Weill Cornell Medical College, report in The Journal of Neuroscience that a molecule known as an oxysterol helps control a different type receptor in the brain that is key in cognitive function.
Because the naturally occurring oxysterol molecule interacts with receptors not normally associated with medications used to treat serious psychiatric illnesses, the researchers believe it could be useful in the development of new types of antipsychotic drugs.
Read more at: MedicalXpress