Drug for schizophrenia can prevent and treat SARS

Chinese and European experts at a conference of the Sino-European Project on <<<placeholder-0/>> Diagnostics and Antivirals in China say that a drug normally used to treat schizophrenia has been shown to prevent and treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)." src="/images/sars.jpg" width=250 align=right>Chinese and European experts at a conference of the Sino-European Project on SARS Diagnostics and Antivirals in China say that a drug normally used to treat schizophrenia has been shown to prevent and treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

It was found that treatment with cinanserin inhibited the coronavirus that causes the deadly flu-like SARS, which first emerged in the country's south in late 2002.

At the meeting in the city of Hangzhou, experts presented a report which demonstrates that cinanserin was among 15 drugs that appeared effective in preventing SARS.

The other 14 drugs have yet to undergo sufficient testing.

Peter Kristensen, from Denmark's University of Aarhus, said that if the SARS epidemic re-emerges Cinanserin could be directly prescribed to prevent the disease or to treat SARS patients.

In 2003, SARS had a devastating impact on the economy of China, many Southeast Asian nations, and even parts of North America. A new, widespread SARS outbreak could have a similar effect on the economies of many nations.

The importance and need to develop an effective SARS vaccine is thus a paramount concern for world health authorities. The SARS global outbreak of 2003 was eventually contained; however, it is expected that the disease could re-emerge in an annual cycle similar to the common flu.

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