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Duke To Lead Effort To Better Understand The Role Of Rare Genetic Variation In Clozapine-induced Agranulocytosis Using Whole Genome Sequencing

The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium (SAEC) has announced that it will collaborate with Duke University's Center for Human Genome Variation to research the genetics of Clozapine-induced agranulocytosis (CIA), with the goal of identifying potential rare genetic variants predictive of this serious drug induced adverse event. The SAEC is a novel, non-profit international research consortium, formed by the global pharmaceutical industry, to better understand the role of genetics in drug safety. Duke University's Center for Human Genome Variation, under the leadership of David Goldstein, PhD and Professor of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, applies state-of-the-art genomic science to help understand how human genetic variation influences disease and drug response.

Launch Of Largest Academic-Industry Collaboration For Drug Discovery In Depression And Schizophrenia

An international consortium of scientists, led by H. Lundbeck A/S and King's College London, has launched one of the largest ever research academic-industry collaboration projects to find new methods for the development of drugs for schizophrenia and depression. Novel Methods leading to New Medications in Depression and Schizophrenia (NEWMEDS) is a unique project, bringing together top scientists from academic institutions with a wide range of expertise, and partnering them with nearly all major global drugs companies including AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Novartis, Orion, Pfizer, Roche, Servier and Wyeth.

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Blood Test For Schizophrenia Could Be Ready This Year

A blood test for diagnosing schizophrenia - the most serious form of mental illness - could be available this year, according to an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine. The disorder, with symptoms that can include hallucinations and delusional thoughts, affects more than two million people in the United States and millions more worldwide. C&EN Senior Editor Celia Henry Arnaud mentions the test as one part of a much broader discussion of how scientists are using non-brain cells to study schizophrenia in an attempt to speed the identification of biomarkers of the disease and develop new diagnostic tests.

Examining The Impact Of FDA Safety Warnings

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine examines the impact of a safety warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration for commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications. The results show the warnings resulted in a decline in usage among the elderly with dementia, yet raise the question as to whether the FDA's system of communicating these warnings is sufficiently targeted and effective. "Because this medication class has limited evidence of benefit among the elderly with dementia and significantly increases their risk of death, the 'right' magnitude of decline in usage is not clear, " said University of Rochester Medical Center neurologist Ray Dorsey, M.

A Flying Boost For Neuroscience

Understanding the causes of autism and schizophrenia could be a step closer for researchers from the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland after they unravelled the secret world of the wasp genome. The neuroscientists were part of an international consortium that has spent four years sequencing the genome of three parasitic wasp species. Each of the Nasonia wasps is smaller than a pinhead, however they could have an extraordinary impact on the understanding of neurological disorders. Dr Charles Claudianos is leading a QBI team using information taken from the genomes to study the role of genes, linked to disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

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Race-Based Misdiagnosis Still Remains A Health Care Problem

Black men are over-diagnosed with schizophrenia at least five times higher than any other group - a trend that dates back to the 1960s, according to new University of Michigan research. Race-based misdiagnosis emerged in the context of the civil rights era of the 1960s and 1970s, when activism became equated with mental illness, says Jonathan Metzl, an associate professor of psychiatry and women's studies. Metzl examined archives of Ionia State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and learned that black men, mainly from Detroit during the civil rights era, were taken there and often misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. "Some patients became schizophrenic because of changes in their diagnosis rather than their clinical symptoms, " said Metzl, a 2008 Guggenheim award recipient.

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