Can schizophrenia patients benefit from hypertension drugs?

A new study suggests that people with schizophrenia might benefit from a therapy using hypertension drug sodium nitroprusside.

Researchers at the University of Alberta, along with colleagues from Brazil, found that a single, four-hour treatment of the drug improved schizophrenia symptoms. The study included 20 people with the condition who were on antipsychotic medication. One group of patients received the sodium nitroprusside drug and another group received a placebo.

The group taking the drug reported lower levels of anxiety and depression, as well as fewer hallucinations. The drug - which has been around since the 1800s - apparently affects the interaction between two chemical messengers in the brain and can rapidly improve acute symptoms.

"This opens a new line of research for the treatment of schizophrenia. Such rapid improvement of symptoms of schizophrenia could be very important to help patients in acute care and emergency settings," Serdar Dursun, a researcher with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the U of A, said in a press release.

The research is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Source: Nature World News

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