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Neuropharmacological studies, animal models of brain disorders and new therapeutics

In some of our projects we focus on the mechanism of action of psychoactive drugs on cognitive functions.

Etiology and pathophysiology of CNS disorders is poorly understood. However it is thought to involve an interaction between genetic and environmental factors during brain development. But, there is a fundamental gap in our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms by which environmental factors interact with genetic susceptibility to trigger symptom onset and CNS disease progression. There is rising interest in the development and application of animal models of CNS disorders to explore neurobiological mechanisms and identification of drug targets. Our projects are focused on behavioral pharmacology in field of animal model of CNS disorders.

Animal models of cognitive disorders are regarded as experimental heuristic approaches aiming at neurobiology of CNS diseases and at developing drug treatment strategy. These models have provided valuable insights regarding mechanism and treatment when used appropriately. On the other side there are numerous limitations to the use of animal models of CNS disorders, not the least of which is the inherent challenge associated with attempting to model complex and still poorly understood human CNS disorders in a rodents. Simply it is difficult to build an animal model that perfectly reproduces all symptoms and etiology of human CNS disorders.

A key criterion that is often used when assessing the utility of an animal model is validity. The most common types of validity that are considered are construct validity (requiring the model to have similar underlying neurobiology, genetic or environmental factors), face validity (similar symptom manifestation to the clinical condition) and predictive validity (responsiveness to clinically effective therapeutic agents). This scientific approach brings better understanding the CNS disorders and pharmacotherapy without the added risk of harming for the patients.