Neurogenic Ltd. is a company that researches and develops diagnostics and therapeutics for mental disorders. Over the past 20 years, Neurogenic has collaborated with Professor Meir Shinitzky of the Weizmann Institute and his research team on these endeavors. Thus far, a straightforward, highly sensitive and specific blood test has been developed for the diagnosis of schizophrenia in children with behavioral disorders.
The research and the story behind discovery and diagnostics: The PhD thesis written by Michael Deckmann and under the supervision of Professor M. Shinitzky, dealt with isolation of the dopamine receptor. Antibodies against this receptor were used to induce unexpected behavioral deviations in mice, which thereby supported the possibility that schizophrenia is one of the outcomes of an autoimmune reaction against the brain's dopamine receptor. These antibodies were then shown to originate in the periphery as auto-antibodies against the blood platelets which can cross-react with the dopamine receptor in the brain. Screenings of such antibodies on isolated platelets taken from control subjects and schizophrenic patients, indeed substantiated this possibility. An auto-immune etiology of schizophrenia, which underlies Neurogenic's diagnostic approach, implies that this disease can be treated with immune suppressants. A case report, in which this possibility was tested, indicated a surprisingly effective therapeutic result of such a treatment. Furthermore, the neuroleptic effects of the common drugs subscribed for schizophrenia can in part be related to their immune suppression.
The current state of our blood test: A simple ELISA test, which can identify schizophrenia, is now available. The test is mostly applicable to predisposed young subjects with behavioral problems. The test is specific to schizophrenia and can categorize other mental disorders.