Schizophrenia affects more than 20 million people worldwide, with approximately 3.5 million people diagnosed with schizophrenia in the United States. The condition is characterized by various symptoms that affect mental state, emotions, behaviors, and cognition. While antipsychotics are widely used to treat schizophrenia, most have limited therapeutic efficacy. Hence, there is an unmet need to develop new treatments.
Researchers at FAU propose repurposing an FDA-approved drug, chlorzoxazone (CZX), which can activate small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) ion channels and may be a promising therapeutic to treat attention and memory deficits associated with schizophrenia. Preclinical animal studies of schizophrenia show CZX significantly reduced memory deficits. Hence, CZX could be a promising treatment of cognitive symptoms in schizophrenic patients.