The quest continues to find improved treatment options for this chronic, debilitating mental illness

 

Schizophrenia is a disabling and chronic mental illness affecting over 1% of the world's population. Schizophrenia is characterized by multiple symptoms during an acute phase of the disorder that can include so-called "positive" symptoms, such as hearing voices, grandiose beliefs, and suspiciousness or paranoia. These symptoms can be accompanied by additional, harder-to-treat symptoms, collectively referred to as "negative symptoms," such as blunted emotional response, speech deficits, and reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life. Additionally, other symptoms frequently occur, including cognitive impairment, depression, and insomnia. Such residual symptoms often persist even after the acute positive symptoms subside, and contribute substantially to the social and employment disability associated with schizophrenia. Current antipsychotic medications provide some relief for the symptoms associated with the acute phase of the disorder, but they do not effectively treat the residual phase symptoms associated with chronic schizophrenia. Currently available medications used to treat acute schizophrenia are limited in their use due to side effects Currently available medications used to treat acute schizophrenia are limited in their use due to side effects that can include movement disorders, weight gain, metabolic disturbances, and cardiovascular disorders. There is an unmet medical need for new therapies.