Experimental Schizophrenia Medicine Promises Hope for People!
Experimental Schizophrenia Medicine: A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported successful results from a clinical trial that tested experimental schizophrenia medication designed to treat psychosis in schizophrenia . The drug works unlike other existing anti-psychotic drugs and without many of its negative side effects.
The development of anti-psychotic drugs in the mid-20th century was an important moment in the field of psychiatry. Chlorpromazine (better known as the trade name Thorazine) changed the treatment of schizophrenia in the 1950s. Before its development, lobotomy was consistently used as a treatment for major psychosis.
Chlorpromazine and subsequent anti-psychotic drugs work by blocking D2 dopamine receptors in the brain. Reduced dopamine release in certain areas of the brain can cause many symptoms of acute psychosis, including delusions and hallucinations . However, these anti- psychotic drugs generally do not help with the large volume of other symptoms associated with schizophrenia, and often cause a number of short and long-term side effects.
For the past few decades, researchers have been working hard to develop new forms of anti-psychotic drugs that more specifically target D2 receptors or enter completely new brain pathways. For example, KarXT, which targets muscarinic receptors, is entering larger Phase 3 trials after reporting successful early results last year.
Experimental Schizophrenia Medicine, Anti-psychotic SEP-363856
The latest experimental anti-psychotic SEP-363856 reporting positive results is called. The new oral compound does not target D2 receptors, but instead activates a couple of different neural receptors known as TAAR1 and 5-HT1A.
The clinical trial addressed about 250 people who had an acute seizure attack. The cohort was randomly and blindly divided into active and placebo groups, and a daily dose of medication was taken for four weeks.
The activity in the experiment was calculated using a scale called the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The scale ranges from 30 to 210, and the average score for subjects in the acute psychosis trial was 101. After four weeks of trial, the average PANSS score for individuals in the active treatment group decreased by 17.7 points compared to a drop of 9.7 in the placebo group.
Perhaps importantly, the study did not find a significant difference in adverse events between the active and placebo groups. This suggests that the experimental drug does not create the volume of side effects seen with traditional anti-psychotic drugs. The long-term effects of the drug are still uncertain, but an additional 26-week study did not reveal any significant side effects.
Co-author of the new study, John Krystal, “For the past 60 years, antipsychotics that bind to dopamine receptors have been the standard of care despite their side effect profiles”
“I hope these results for SEP-363856 support a new treatment for schizophrenia for people who have been diagnosed with this serious mental health condition. SEP-363856 can have a major impact on schizophrenia patients, their families, and the public health burden associated with schizophrenia. ”
A larger Phase 3 trial is currently underway, covering many regions around the world. SEP-363856 received Groundbreaking Therapy status by the FDA in early 2019. Therefore, although full market approval for the experimental drugs is a few years away, this initiative by the FDA shows that early data is promising.