Hanns Möhler - Achievements#

In the tradition of Claude Bernard (1813-1878), we are using drugs as tools to investigate the function of the brain. In this endeavour, the target for tranquillizing drugs of the type of Valium was discovered (benzodiazepine receptor). This discovery revealed an inhibitory neuronal break-system (GABA-transmission) which operates ubiquitously in the brain to keep the excitatory stimuli in check. This break system ensures the overall balance of brain activity. A dysfunctional inhibition system can cause anxiety disorders and – in extreme cases – epilepsy. In the meantime, we and others have discovered more than a dozen inhibitory sub-systems in the brain. These more regionally effective break-systems offer the possibility to act as more selective drug targets. Disorders such as dementia, schizophrenia and pain can now be specifically targeted. Novel drugs are also expected to lack the side effects of the classical benzodiazepines.

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