What Schizophrenia Looks Like
Reprogrammed stem cells from schizophrenia patients have helped researchers determine that fewer connections are made between the neurons of a schizophrenic compared to those of healthy individuals.
What's the Most Recent Development?
Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies began their experiment by taking skin cells from schizophrenic patients and reprogramming them into stem cells capable of giving rise to any type of tissue. They then coaxed those cells to differentiate into neurons. "Scientists found that the diseased neurons made fewer connections with one another than did healthy neurons—a problem that antischizophrenia medication could alleviate." Previously, neurological studies done on schizophrenics came mainly from postmortem brain examinations.
What's the Big Idea?
Altering the chemical makeup of normal cells can create a class of stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS. Experimenting with these stem cells has given researches insight into a host of diseases, though mainly ones in which genetic mutations occur during childhood. What makes recent stem cell research on schizophrenia especially impressive is the complexity of the disease—it is formed by genetic as well as environmental factors. Scientists hope that new light shed on the disease will also help in the development of treatments to combat it.
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
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