Crick Lecture Series - Old drugs, new tricks: Exploiting brain-gut interactions in treating mental health disorders

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Monday, November 6, 2017

4:00 p.m.

Koch Center for Engineering and Science, Vectren Lecture Hall, Room 100, University of Evansville Campus, 1800 Lincoln Ave, Evansville, IN

Devon L. Graham, Ph.D.
Florida State University College of Medicine
Department of Biomedical Sciences

Mental health disorders such as addiction, depression, and anxiety disorders have become an increasingly larger burden on society, both from a general health standpoint as well as an economic perspective. To combat this growing epidemic, newer, more effective pharmacotherapies are necessary. One option to do so it to look at alternative targets beyond the usual neurotransmitter suspects. Our research focuses on the gut peptide receptor called the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R). Drugs targeting GLP-1R have shown great promise in treating type II diabetes and managing obesity. However, we and others have shown that brain GLP-1R has potential to treat neuropsychiatric conditions as well. Our data demonstrate the potential to use drugs that have already been approved for clinical use for other disorders to also be beneficial for use in mental health disorders.

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