It’s in the Blood
Could blood cells provide the ideal environment to test new drugs for neuropsychiatric disorders?
Maryam Mahdi | | Quick Read
Mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide and despite the starkly apparent need for novel treatments, a lack of understanding of the diversity of these disorders, as well as the processes underpinning them, have contributed to the steady decline of neuropsychiatric drug development programmes (by 70 percent) over the last decade. Another challenge faced by drug developers is the dearth of relevant pre-clinical models to test new hypotheses. To fully appreciate the complexities of neuropsychiatric disorders, there is no substitute for the human brain, but taking live brain samples from patients is a significant stumbling block for researchers!
But what if blood cells could be used instead? Researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, and international collaborators have shown that peripheral blood cells taken from patients with schizophrenia can be used to identify drug targets (1).
“Despite their functional differences from neuronal cells, peripheral blood cells have multiple signalling pathways that are conserved across the cell types. By exploiting the signalling pathways, which are potentially relevant to the pathogenesis of mental health conditions, we have identified an ideal environment in which to test drugs,” explains Santiago Lago, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge.
Read the full article now
Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Medicine Maker’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine
Or Login via Social Media
By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.