Experimental Cancer Drug Reverses Schizophrenia in Adolescent Mice

Newswise — Johns Hopkins researchers say that an experimental anticancer compound appears to have reversed behaviors associated with schizophrenia and restored some lost brain cell function in adolescent mice with a rodent version of the devastating mental illness.

The drug is one of a class of compounds known as PAK inhibitors, which have been shown in animal experiments to confer some protection from brain damage due to Fragile X syndrome, an inherited disease in humans marked by mental retardation. There also is some evidence, experts say, suggesting PAK inhibitors could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. And because the PAK protein itself can initiate cancer and cell growth, PAK inhibitors have also been tested for cancer.

In the new Johns Hopkins-led study, reported online March 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found that the compound, called FRAX486, appears to halt an out-of-control biological “pruning” process in the schizophrenic brain during which important neural connections are unnecessarily destroyed.


Oh wow, I wonder how long we will have to wait to know if it works for humans too.


You can tell which mice are schizophrenic because they are the ones with tiny tin foil hats and turn their heads for noises that aren’t there.


Jerry from the cartoon “Tom and Jerry” was schizophrenic…there was never any cat chasing him at all, it was all a delusion.

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Thanks for the article.
It hasn’t been proven in humans yet. The internet mentions it more for Fragile X Syndrome, that may include autism. Don’t see that it has been in clinical trials for anything yet, so it could be a long way off.
I hope it does pan out.

I usually find myself asking this: How to they know for sure that the mice had sz since they don’t really know for sure what causes it? So are they curing/fixing sz or something else?


Maybe the drug kills the bad brain cells and the the rest of the brain cells start communicating with another accurate.

Perhaps it helps modulating inflamatory response on diseased brain, thereby affecting cytokine profile.
I do believe this line of research may draw a promising future for us sz. Too bad it’s still considered “unorthodox” by pharma.

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