Artificial intelligence can increase the effectiveness of drug repositioning or repurposing research, according to a study published in Translational Psychiatry. In the study, which was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP, Brazilian researchers correlated information on genes associated with psychiatric and neurological disorders and drugs approved for use in treating other diseases that might potentially inhibit or activate these genes.
The study identified 63 drugs targeting 31 genes and potential candidates for testing against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism. A total of 1,588 genes were correlated with 722 drugs. In addition to identifying these candidate drugs, the researchers also developed a novel drug screening approach that can be used in studies of other diseases. They then applied the novel methodology in another study with the aim of repurposing drugs to treat COVID-19.