Research briefs: Antipsychotic weight gain understood

Antipsychotic drugs that do not cause weight gain could be developed after US researchers identified the underlying mechanism. Studies in mice revealed that the drugs increased the activity of the enzyme adenine monophosphate kinase (AMPK), specifically in the hypothalamus, by blocking the histamine H1 receptor. AMPK activation and histamine H1 receptor blockade have previously been linked to regulation of food intake, explaining why weight gain is associated with these drugs (PNAS online 2007).

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