Skip to main content

Project launches for new schizophrenia treatments

28 September 2021

Dr David Foley writes on the glass of a fume hood in the Institute's chemistry lab

Around 1% of the population will develop schizophrenia at some point in their lives, living with symptoms of hallucinations, delusions and disorganised behaviour. A new research project at Cardiff University brings together experts in medicine discovery to find new therapies for this mental health condition.

The Medicines Discovery Institute have launched a new project to investigate new treatment options for schizophrenia, providing better options for patients in the future.

The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, will investigate whether modulators of a key receptor in the brain could be a new treatment for the psychosis symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Dr David Foley, Cardiff University’s Medicines Discovery Institute, said “Currently, medications fail to effectively treat some of the aspects of schizophrenia, with around one third of patients not responding to existing antipsychotics. This represents a huge barrier for those living with schizophrenia and these symptoms are linked with an annual estimated cost of around £12 billion in the UK alone.

“Building upon our extensive expertise in a critical brain signalling pathway, the GABA pathway, our research aims to develop novel and improved therapies for schizophrenia, targeting a receptor in the brain called α5-GABAA.

“Our Wellcome Trust funding will enable us to develop selective modulators of α5-GABAA and begin investigating these molecules as a potential therapy for psychosis in schizophrenia.

“The primary aim of the Medicines Discovery Institute is to accelerate the translation of academic research into patient benefit and we hope that we can provide new answers for patients with schizophrenia and significantly improve their therapeutic options and management of their symptoms.”

Share this story