A compound that naturally occurs in the brain and other areas of the body may be a promising new treatment for the most severe and disruptive symptoms of schizophrenia, according to researchers from Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center.
Researchers conducted a pilot study that suggests the neurosteroid pregnenolone targets symptoms of schizophrenia for which no treatment options are available. The findings are published online in journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
While antipsychotic medications can help reduce hallucinations and delusions associated with schizophrenia for some patients, the other two categories of symptoms often continue to significantly disable patients -- negative symptoms, such as apathy, lack of emotion and poor social functioning, and cognitive symptoms, which include memory impairment and difficulty concentrating and completing tasks.
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