Schizophrenia Research Forum - A Catalyst for Creative Thinking
Home Profile Membership/Get Newsletter Log In Contact Us
 For Patients & Families
What's New
Recent Updates
SRF Papers
Current Papers
Search All Papers
Search Comments
News
Research News
Conference News
Plain English
Forums
Current Hypotheses
Idea Lab
Online Discussions
Virtual Conferences
Interviews
Resources
What We Know
SchizophreniaGene
Animal Models
Drugs in Trials
Research Tools
Grants
Jobs
Conferences
Journals
Community Calendar
General Information
Community
Member Directory
Researcher Profiles
Institutes and Labs
About the Site
Mission
History
SRF Team
Advisory Board
Support Us
How to Cite
Fan (E)Mail
The Schizophrenia Research Forum web site is sponsored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and was created with funding from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
Plain English
back to Plain English Search News Story
Can a Simple Amino Acid Treat Schizophrenia?

27 June 2013. Some researchers suspect that the debilitating symptoms of schizophrenia emerge from problems with a brain chemical called glutamate. Although glutamate drives much of the electrical signaling between neurons, evidence suggests that in schizophrenia the proteins receiving the glutamate message don’t fully absorb its impact.

A new study published May 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers the possibility that D-serine, a simple compound that boosts glutamate signals, can remedy this situation. A team led by Joseph Coyle at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, engineered mice to have underactive glutamate signaling. As adults, these mice exhibited schizophrenia-like features in their brains, including signs that the neurons were less able to adapt themselves to changes around them. Injecting the mice with D-serine for 20 days restored their glutamate signals to normal levels and normalized other markers of a neuron’s ability to change and form connections with other neurons. D-serine also fixed a schizophrenia-like memory problem in these mice.

The results offer hope for treatment because they show that a longstanding, genetically based problem with glutamate may be remedied in adulthood. If the human brain retains a similar response to D-serine in adulthood, this may bode well for clinical trials of compounds that are currently underway. (For more details on this study, see SRF related news story.)—Michele Solis.

 
SRF News
SRF Comments
Text Size
Reset Text Size
Share/Bookmark
Copyright © 2005- 2014 Schizophrenia Research Forum Privacy Policy Disclaimer Disclosure Copyright