‘Cannabidol: a new preventative treatment for schizophrenia?’
Western Sydney University, NSW
Co-funded by The David Henning Memorial
“Schizophrenia is a debilitating and disruptive disorder that costs individuals and their families in quality of life. ”
Gabriela Visini completed a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at the University of Otago in 2016, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Science with Distinction in 2017. Gabriela also worked as a research assistant for over two years in a lab studying religion in a social cognition context. Her postgraduate project examined long term spatial memory deficits caused by a single binge exposure of alcohol in the third trimester, using a rodent model.
Ms Visini moved to Sydney in August 2017 with the support of my PhD supervisors, with whom I had been in contact with during my postgraduate course.
The aim of this project is to explore the efficacy of cannabidiol as a preventative treatment for schizophrenia development, as well as explore the biological effects of cannabidiol as an antipsychotic in the brain. This project will investigate the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol, not only in a context of treating schizophrenia, but preventing its development. It will use chronic cannabidiol treatments in adolescent Nrg1 transmembrane heterozygous mice, a mouse model of genetic predisposition to the disorder.
This will examine the potential of cannabidiol treatment in preventing the onset of schizophrenia-relevant behavioural impairment, which will be measured using a series of behavioural tasks. It will also examine whether adolescent cannabidiol treatment can prevent or limit cannabis-induced schizophrenia relevant behavior in Nrg1 transmembrane heterozygous mice, by using cannabidiol treatment during adolescence, followed by acute cannabis in adulthood.
Finally, this project will examine the effects of chronic cannabidiol treatment on major neurotransmitter systems in the brain, by using brain tissue from treated mice, to determine how cannabidiol acts to prevent schizophrenia-relevant behaviour.
Supervisors: Professor Tim Karl and Dr Rose Chesworth.