Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 24, 1995

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

     "The next step is to create drugs that will target only the
5-HT6 receptors and not the acetylcholine receptors," Snyder

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