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Pirooz Zareie’s research at the Victoria University, School of Biological Sciences, Wellington

Research study shows that drug used to treat schizophrenia may help treat multiple sclerosis


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that affects 1 in 1,400 New Zealanders and is of significant burden to New Zealand health. In multiple sclerosis, immune cells attacking parts of the brain and causing neurological symptoms of MS. Our research has shown that clozapine, a drug currently used to treat schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses is able to treat and reduce disease in models of multiple sclerosis.

The aim of my PhD project is to investigate how clozapine affects the immune cells that travel to the central nervous system and leads to a reduction in clinical disease. This project will let us understand the way the drug works as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Pirooz is working under the supervision of Professor Anne La Flamme at the Victoria University of Wellington. His project also receives funding from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand. 

Pirooz Zareie completed high school in Rotorua at John Paul College and decided to enrol at Victoria University of Wellington and complete a Bachelor of Biomedical Science. During this time, he was fascinated by the immune system and decided to continue and do an Honours project working on novel compounds that altered inflammatory activation of immune cells. During this time, a special interest in the field of immunology grew and he decided to enrol in a PhD program. Pirooz was awarded a Victoria Doctoral scholarship and currently in his second year into a project working on the mechanism by which atypical antipsychotics are able to reduce disease in a model of multiple sclerosis.

Research study shows that drug used to treat schizophrenia may help treat multiple sclerosis

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