NeuRA-Profile-2016 - page 17

AssocProfTomWeickert’sclinical trial exploreswhetherananti-
inflammatory treatment can reduce symptom severityand improve
thinkingability inpeoplewith schizophrenia.His researchmay
alsohavebenefits forpeoplewithdepressionorbipolardisorder.
“The linkbetweenpsychosis and
inflammationof thebrain is increasingly
gainingattentionworldwide,” saysAssoc
ProfWeickert.
“It isbeingpresentedatmany
conferences andmeetings, withwhole
sessionsdevoted to the topic.Whether
inflammationcausespsychosisor
depression, or is a result of the illnesses
is currentlyunknown; however there
arecurrentlyeffectiveways to treat
the inflammation.”
TheCanakinumabAdd-onTreatment
for Schizophrenia (CATS) studyaims
to identifypeoplewith schizophrenia
whohave the inflammationmarkers in
their bloodandassess if the treatment
improves their thinkingability
and reduces someof the symptoms
associatedwith schizophrenia.
“Unlikecurrent antipsychotic
medications, which target fast-acting
neurotransmittermolecules suchas
dopamine, thisnew treatment targets
part of the immune system response
(acytokine receptor), whichmay
beoveractive in somepeoplewith
schizophreniaandwouldcausedamage
to thebrain,” saysAssocProfWeickert.
If successful, theCATS studymay
enableclinicians toperform specific
biological assays, which includes testing
for indicatorsof inflammation. This
wouldmean thatmoreappropriate, and
thusbeneficial, treatmentswouldbe
available for somepeoplewho suffer from
schizophrenia, schizoaffectivedisorder,
bipolar disorder or depression.
If youare interested inparticipating
in thestudy, phone029399 1858.
CLINICAL TRIAL
The linkbetweenpsychosis
and inflammationof the
brain is increasinglygaining
attentionworldwide.
Clinical trial participant,
LeanneO’Reilly,with
AssocProf TomWeickert
and theCATS team
ADOLESCENCE —
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