WEIGHT GAIN AND PSYCH MEDS
ANCHOR LEAD: WHY DO SOME MEDICATIONS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Dramatic weight gain is one of the most common reasons people with schizophrenia and other serious mental illness cite for stopping their medications. Now Solomon Snyder and colleagues at Johns Hopkins say they may know why: some of these so-called atypical antipsychotics affect energy sensing mechanisms in the body.
SNYDER: AMP-K, whose technical name is adenosine monophosphate kinase, is an enzyme that’s activated by adenosine monophospate or AMP. AMP builds up when you use up a lot of energy, so it’s a sensor of energy, because when ATP, the energy source of our body, is used up it’s converted to AMP and AMP activates this enzyme, which then does many many other things. :25
Snyder says this knowledge will allow pharmacologists to test currently used drugs to see whether the enzyme is affected, and to design future medications that don’t interfere with this pathway. Some currently available medications don’t have this effect. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.