New Treatment Could Reduce Anxiety, Regulate Weight


A new treatment could aid in reducing anxiety and regulating obesity disorders, according to Ottawa researchers.

A drug known as Trodusquemine, which is used to treat weight-loss disorders and breast cancer, alongside cannabinoids could be produced by the brain on its own and make a patient more calm.

The study was originally a three year long investigation into the effects of the gene LMO4 on brain development and regeneration. However, scientists noticed that the mice involved in the study and who lacked his gene displayed anxiety problems and gained weight. These mice were given doses of Trodusquemine and after one hour the mice appeared less anxious. These effects lasted for almost one week.

The drug had no effect on mice exhibiting “normal” behavior.

The study has only been conducted on lab mice, though researchers hope that by publishing the results interest in the drug will be generated in order to begin clinical trials.

“Anxiety and obesity are growing problems in society,” Dr. Hsiao-Huei Che, the study lead, said. “Not only have we found a new biological pathway that regulates these two conditions, but we also found that they may be amenable to treatment with the same drug.”

According to Statistics Canada, 2.4 million Canadians experience symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Some 8.7 percent of Canadians 15 and older meet the criteria for the disorder. Currently, anxiety disorders are treated with benzodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs with sedative effects and a risk of dependency. Long term use of the drug can lead to memory loss.

The study was funded by the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

Source: Ottawa Citizen / Photo Credit: Flickr

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