Researchers ‘switch’ on to new therapies

RESEARCHERS have discovered a genetic difference in a “switch” that causes over-activity in parts of the brain and may explain why some people could be more susceptible to conditions such as obesity and addiction.

The Scottish experts also think the switch might play a role in chronic pain and psychosis. Aberdeen scientists believe the findings might be a step towards the development of personalised therapies.

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The team from the University’s Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics studied genetic differences around the gene CNR1. Dr Alasdair MacKenzie said: “Our study is one of the first to explore the possibility that changes in gene switches are involved in causing side-effects to drugs. We believe this approach will be crucially important in the future development of more effective personalised medicine, with fewer side-effects.”