Could aspirin be a cure for schizophrenia?

Common anti-inflammatory treatments, like aspirin, estrogen and Fluimucil may help to improve the efficacy of existing schizophrenia treatments, according to a new study presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Berlin.

The study included data on 26 double-blind, randomized control trials, providing evidence that schizophrenia symptoms were reduced in patients that took certain anti-inflammatory agents.

"Inflammation and oxidative stress seem to be important factors in different mental disorders," said Celso Arango, commenting for the ECNP. "Patients with different mental conditions, including schizophrenia, have been shown to have reduced antioxidants in the brain as well as excess inflammatory markers."

Preventing neurobiological abnormalities

Not only could anti-inflammatory drugs reduce symptoms in schizophrenia patients, but early intervention with these agents might also prevent certain neurobiological abnormalities and the transition to psychosis, said Arango.

Since about 20 to 30 percent of all schizophrenia patients don't respond to treatment, supplementing current therapies with anti-inflammatory drugs might improve a patient's overall response to treatment.

"This work is a step towards the possibility of better treatment," Arango said, "but we need more research in this area, especially with younger subjects where we might expect more brain plasticity."

Source: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)

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