Method and Kit for Diagnosis and Drug Screening Towards Psychiatric Disorders

This invention relates to a method and kit for diagnosis and drug screening towards psychiatric disorders. In particular, it provides as an example the utilization of the known molecular diversity of Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), a candidate gene for Schizophrenia, for objective diagnosis, objective prognosis of susceptibility, and screening drugs for treatment of psychiatric disorders including, but not limited to, Schizophrenia. Description (Set) Johns Hopkins University is currently seeking licensees for a novel diagnostic/prognostic technology. Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric disorder, characterized by disturbances of thought, emotion, and perception. Diagnosis is currently based on observation of particular symptoms and the course of various disorders. There is a long-felt need for a quantitative clinical assay to definitively diagnose schizophrenia. The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but evidence suggests mutations in a gene known as Disrupted in Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) are linked to susceptibility. JHU faculty have developed specific antibodies to DISC1 which can be used in a diagnostic or prognostic method for a psychiatric disorder in an patient. Advantages: � Provides a more definitive quantitative diagnosis than currently used behavioral criteria to speed administration of medication, rapidly reduce psychiatric symptoms and improve patient quality of life. � Concrete test result decreases reliance on subjective criteria for psychiatric diagnosis when patient is uncooperative, and reduces delays in treatment for faster recovery from a psychotic episode. � Provides mechanism to validate a behavioral diagnosis of schizophrenia to increase patient confidence and improve therapeutic compliance. � Repeatable diagnostic test enables long term patient monitoring to gauge response to medication and allow optimization of treatment. Proposed Use (Set) This technology can be commercialized as diagnostic methods requiring only a small blood or tissue sample. Commercial embodiments include diagnostic kits consisting of antibodies specific for DISC1, secondary antibodies and detectable markers. The diagnostic kits are potentially useful in emergency rooms and psychiatric care facilities.

Inventor(s): Sawa, Akira

Type of Offer: Licensing

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