If there are cases of schizophrenia in the genus, then future generations may develop the disease. Scientists have announced the possibility of soon preventing hereditary pathology in adolescents.
Specialists representing the Brazilian Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) have already investigated the effect of the new drug on young rodents who have had behavioral changes like schizophrenia. A new medicine is created on the basis of the compound sodium nitroprusside.
Schizophrenia in most cases is characterized by auditory pseudo-hallucinations, speech and mental disorders: it is clear that it is almost impossible to notice such symptoms in rodents. But during hallucinations typical of schizophrenia, the level of the neurotransmitter of the nervous system always increases. Rodents react to an increase in this level by sharp and chaotic motor activity. Scientists consider this behavioral trait to be an “analogue” of individual schizophrenic symptoms found in humans.
The combination of sodium nitroprusside for medicinal purposes was not accidentally used: it is easily transformed into nitrogen monoxide, which has many physiological properties. For example, this substance is involved in the transmission of signals between neurons, that is, performs the function of the type of neurotransmitter. In patients with schizophrenia, there is a breakdown in contact between nerve cells. In their study, the researchers set out to determine whether it would be possible to prevent this destruction with the help of nitroprusside.
The experiment consisted of two treatment regimens: adult rodents received a single injection of nitroprusside, and younger individuals were given a new dose of the drug every day. According to the results, scientists noted that a prolonged and regular introduction, which was practiced in relation to young animals, successfully prevented the development of behavioral disorders, the appearance of which was considered inevitable.
Here it is necessary to clarify: the compound of sodium nitroprusside is still being actively used to treat severe schizophrenic disorders in order to alleviate certain signs of the disease. The work of scientists was aimed at solving another issue. They needed to find out if the drug is suitable for prophylactic use in juveniles that do not suffer from schizophrenia, but have hereditary data for the further development of the disease. Since the tests were conducted on rodents, further experiments will be conducted with the participation of people. Experts hope that their work will only confirm the initial assumptions about the prophylactic activity of nitroprusside. It is very important that people who are at risk for hereditary schizophrenia can live without fear for their mental health.
The article is set out on the Cns Neuroscience & Therapeutics page (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cns.12852).
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