Summary #1330

Stanford scientists solve secret of nerve cells marking a form of schizophrenia

med.stanford.edu
  • In people with schizophrenia, brain cells keep firing unnecessary signals, and it might be caused by a genetic defect called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.
  • It increases the risk for schizophrenia 30 times, and about 35% of people with this defect are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder early in their lives.
  • 22q11.2DS causes electrical defects in nerve cells, as scientists found by generating and manipulating clusters of brain cells in a dish.
  • Neurons generated from cells of 22q11.2DS carriers were more excitable, and showed less-than-normal voltage while they weren’t firing.
  • Applying antipsychotic drugs to the cells brought them back to normal, indicating that this is a good are for further studies of schizophrenia.

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