Madden, Christopher J, PhD
Neural circuitry responsible for diabetes and weight gain during antipsychotic therapy
General Research Subject: Obesity
Focus: Integrated Physiology\Fatty Acid Metabolism, Obesity\Pathogenesis, Psychosocial Behavioral Medicine
Type of Grant: Basic Science
Project Start Date: January 1, 2013
Project End Date: December 31, 2015
Antipsychotic drugs are critically important for the treatment of schizophrenia associated disorders. However, many of these medications have severe undesirable side effects, including rapid weight gain and high blood sugar. The proposed research project will elucidate the brain regions and brain chemicals that are affected by antipsychotic drugs and thereby contribute to (1) the disrupted regulation of blood sugar and (2) the changes in metabolism of fat which result in weight gain. This work will provide a foundation for the design of better therapeutic agents for schizophrenia that lack the undesired side effects and, more generally, will have important implications for diabetes by providing new insights into the brain circuits that regulate blood sugar.
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating, and curing diabetes?
This project investigates the mechanisms by which maintenance on antipsychotic medications leads to high blood sugar and wieght gain. The increased understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the undesirable side effects of antipsychotic drugs will suggest novel approaches to designing pharmacological agents that avoid these side effects and will provide valuable new information about the normal physiological basis for the appropriate regulation of blood sugar and body weight.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future, how would you respond?
My project will help us to better understand how the brain is able to regulate blood sugar and body weight. This understanding will serve as a foundation for designing therapies which help to harness this regulation to normalize blood sugar in people whose regulatory system is not working properly.
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your efforts?
Several members of my family have diabetes (type 1, type 2, and gestational).
This award will play an absolutely critical role in my research efforts, without this award my lab would not have the financial means to pursue this line of research.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
With many of the recent exciting discoveries in diabetes demonstrating that the central nervous system plays a crucial role in the regulation of blood sugar, I see a future in which we begin to harness these new understandings to target these regulatory mechanisms to combat the dysregulation in diabetic patients and restore a more normal regulation.
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