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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
Volume 2016, Article ID 6378137, 12 pages
Review Article

Drug Repurposing Is a New Opportunity for Developing Drugs against Neuropsychiatric Disorders

1Department of Cell Biology & Physiology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, 115 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Duke University, 905 S. LaSalle Street, Durham, NC 27710, USA

Received 15 December 2015; Accepted 24 February 2016

Academic Editor: Luis San

Copyright © 2016 Hyeong-Min Lee and Yuna Kim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Better the drugs you know than the drugs you do not know. Drug repurposing is a promising, fast, and cost effective method that can overcome traditional de novo drug discovery and development challenges of targeting neuropsychiatric and other disorders. Drug discovery and development targeting neuropsychiatric disorders are complicated because of the limitations in understanding pathophysiological phenomena. In addition, traditional de novo drug discovery and development are risky, expensive, and time-consuming processes. One alternative approach, drug repurposing, has emerged taking advantage of off-target effects of the existing drugs. In order to identify new opportunities for the existing drugs, it is essential for us to understand the mechanisms of action of drugs, both biologically and pharmacologically. By doing this, drug repurposing would be a more effective method to develop drugs against neuropsychiatric and other disorders. Here, we review the difficulties in drug discovery and development in neuropsychiatric disorders and the extent and perspectives of drug repurposing.