June 20, 2007

Nicotine - Derived Medications for Schizophrenia - Update

As we've covered in our "Smoking and Schizophrenia Report", there seem to be both chemicals that can kill you, and chemicals that can help you - in cigarettes and other tobacco products.

A new report on companies that are focused on taking out just the positive chemicals - and concentrating them in medications - is in this week's Wired magazine. These new medications are targeted at the "cognitive dysfunction" that is a common symptom of schizophrenia. Other approaches currently being researched that may also help people achieve some level of relief from these symptoms include medications like Provigil (modafinil) and computer games that focus on cognitive remediation. The story notes:

"Smoking may be bad for you, but researchers and biotech companies are quietly developing pharmaceuticals that are decidedly good for brains, bowels, blood vessels and even immune systems -- and they're inspired by tobacco's deadly active ingredient: nicotine....

Now drugs derived from nicotine and the research on nicotine receptors are in clinical trials for everything from helping to heal wounds, to depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, anger management and anxiety."

Read the Full Story:
Researchers Light Up for Nicotine, the Wonder Drug (Wired.com)

Related Reading:
Nicotine-like Drugs for Schizophrenia

Nicotine-like drug showing positive benefits in schizophrenia

Targacept and Astra Zeneca Agreement

Nicotine for Alzheimers, & Schizophrenia?

Nasal Nicotine Spray Helps with Schizophrenia Symptoms


Has anyone heard anything about dates that these drugs are expected to be released. I've heard a lot about new generations of medicines, but everything keeps saying "In the next couple of years..." and then a few years go by and we're still in the same boat... I know drugs need thorough testing, but it would really be nice to see some of these hit the market ASAP.

Posted by: Cory Schulz at June 20, 2007 02:11 PM

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