Qld researchers hope new trial bears fruit

David Sigston

Extracts of a rare tropical fruit could help to treat people suffering from schizophrenia.

Trials have begun in Brisbane into the role of mangosteens, a native Indonesian fruit, in easing symptoms of psychosis.

Professor John McGrath, from the Queensland Brain Institute, said previous research suggested antioxidants from the fruit's rind could provide an effective treatment with no side effects.

"We aren't suggesting this is a wonder drug, but we must investigate potential new treatments which are safe, effective and don't have the current medication's side effects like weight gain, which can lead to other major health problems," Prof McGrath said.

Mangosteens have long been used in traditional medicines and herbal teas in Southeast Asia.

Antioxidants are thought to fight free radicals which can build up in certain diseases.

"I've found over the years that when you talk to patients or their relatives they say 'I just don't want anyone else to go through this'," Prof McGrath said on Tuesday.