Neurogenic's proprietary reagents and diagnostic assay are protected by a series of worldwide issued patents and pending patent applications.
Autoimmunity and schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic and frequently debilitating mental disorder, often striking in late adolescence or early adulthood. It is characterized by auditory, visual, tactile and olfactory hallucinations, delusions, confusion, impaired concentration, cognitive decline, lethargy and movement disorders. Despite over a century of intense research, its etiology remains elusive. The global adult prevalence of schizophrenia is approximately 1%, however schizophrenics constitute close to 10% of the permanently disabled population in developed and developing countries.
Accumulating data suggest immune and autoimmune contributions to a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. Already in the 1990's Prof. Meir Shinitzky* and Dr. Michael Deckmann* from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel proposed an autoimmune etiology in at least one distinct subgroup of patients in which early-onset schizophrenia originates from a peripheral autoimmune reaction against platelets mediated by Platelet-Associated Antibodies (PAA). As long as the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) remains structurally and functionally intact, the autoimmune anti-platelet reaction will only affect the platelet counts, as in other autoimmune reactions against platelets (e.g. thrombocytopenia purpura); the disease, however, will remain dormant as far as mental aberrations are concerned. It is hypothesized that upon permeation or functional disturbance of the BBB (e.g. upon injury, viral infection or high-intensity mental stress), the anti-platelet autoantibodies are able to penetrate into the brain and cross react with various CNS cell types, thus triggering sharp mental deviations characteristic of schizophrenia. Accumulating preclinical and clinical data support the hypothesis that disturbances of the peripheral immune system and its complex interactions with the CNS may contribute to the early-onset symptoms of adolescent and pediatric patients suffering from schizophrenia.
Neurogenic Ltd. aims to translate this innovative approach to assist in the diagnosis of early-onset schizophrenia into an analytical diagnostic-aiding assay.