New treatment approach to schizophrenia discovered
American Researchers recently found evidence that certain processes in the brain development, which occur mainly during puberty, have occurred in people with schizophrenia excessively. This suggests structural abnormalities in the brain, which are under suspicion to arise to trigger schizophrenia. The research team also discovered that the antibiotic minocycline, which is commonly used for the treatment of acne, may protect against structural changes in the Brain.
Researchers from the “Center for Genomic Medicine” at the “Massachusetts General Hospital” recently found new evidence on the hitherto not sufficiently understood causes of schizophrenia. According to the study, will be restructured in the Phase of growing up (adolescence) the brain. The so-called synaptic Pruning are reinforced by experience of experience, certain neural connections, and other cut. According to the research team this process is in patients took place with schizophrenia in Excess. The results of the study were recently published in the renowned journal “Nature Neuroscience”.
What happens during adolescence in the brain
During puberty massive conversion processes take place in the brain. While in the childhood phase, all the possible nerve connections to be established, it will be sorted out during adolescence according to the principle of “Use it or lose it”. This little-used brain, cut connections, and often used instead of strengthened. In this way, the brain can work, depending on the stress more efficiently. This process is known as synaptic Pruning, so the Pruning of the synapses. A Central role in innate immune cells called microglia, which control the process of restructuring.
What happens in the brain of Schizophrenic
The researchers end the study leader Roy Perlis found that these circumcisions, the synapses take place in the brains of patients with schizophrenia, the faster and more extensive. This suggests that it is the cause or at least part of the cause for the development of the disease. As in the preclinical research has already shown that the antibiotic minocycline is effective in neurodegenerative diseases, the researches in model experiments examined how minocycline affects nerve cells in the brains of schizophrenia patients. By higher doses, excessive synaptic pruning could be normalized almost completely.
Mode of action unknown
Minocycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic of the Tetracycline group and is used for the propagation of inhibition of different bacteria. In particular, it shows the case of inflammatory acne good effect. Why this antibiotic also helps in certain neuro-degenerative diseases and why it has an impact on synaptic pruning is, as yet, unclear.