Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Advances in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease...targeting Schizoaffective Disorder

Todays Headlines from across the DailyUpdates network (June 26th)
  • Breaking News (from DailyUpdates-Cardiovascular Disease): DeCODE advance in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) In contrast to coronary and cerebral artery disease, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) remains an under-appreciated condition that despite being serious and extremely prevalent is rarely diagnosed and even less frequently treated. Consequently mortality in PAD patients exceeds that in patients with myocardial infarction and stroke; indeed only mortality due to colorectal cancer outweighs that of PAD. In addition since the prevalence of PAD is second only to diabetes the problem of long-term disability and health care costs in these patients is immense. Not only does PAD represent a major unmet clinical problem but its under-treatment translates to a total of $35 billion in unrealized annual US sales of cardiovascular therapeutics (PAD has been the subject of three major reports featured by LeadDisocvery over recent months – click here). Today’s highlighted press release announces the initiation of the Phase II clinical development program for DeCODE’s DG041. DG041 is a selective and potent antagonist of the EP3 receptor for PGE2, identified by deCODE as a target for PAD through the company’s population genetics research [Source: DeCODE Release]
  • Featured Journal Article (from DailyUpdates-Psychiatric Disorders): Cognitive impairment is regarded as a core deficit of schizophrenia. Prevalent in 60% of the schizophrenia population and responsible for significant psychosocial disability, treatments for this aspect of the condition are required (for an in depth analysis of this condition see Cognitive Impairment in Schizoaffective Disorder - Inevitable or Treatable?). Today’s featured paper adds to the proof of concept for the targeting of alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by candidate treatments of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Defects in the gene encoding alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are thought to underlie the genetic components of schizophrenia, while receptor expression is reduced in the brain of autopsied patients. On the other hand nicotine, a low-potency agonist at the alpha7 receptor, has some positive effects on neurophysiological and neurocognitive deficits associated with the condition, which suggests that more effective receptor activation might meaningfully enhance cognition in schizophrenia. This is supported by a recently published trial (Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;63(6):630-8) and a number of companies have recently published small molecule agonists of the receptor including Mitsubishi (J Med Chem. 2005 Apr 7;48(7):2678-86) and Pfizer (J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Mar;312(3):1213-22). Cognition is a complex mental process which integrates awareness, perception, reasoning, language, judgment, memory and attention. Today’s study establishes the role of alpha7 receptors in attention deficit aspects of cognitive impairment [Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2006 Apr 29]


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