Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

By reprogramming skin cells into brain cells, scientists gain new insights into mental disorders

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
The Kavli Foundation
Summary:
By reprogramming skin cells from patients with mental disorders, scientists are creating brain cells that are now providing extraordinary insights into afflictions like schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.

Human neurons differentiated from skin-derived stem cells. Comparison of neurons from unaffected individuals and patients could provide insight into the underlying causes of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Credit: Ji-Eun Kim and Anirvan Ghosh, UCSD

Using skin cells from patients with mental disorders, scientists are creating brain cells that are now providing extraordinary insights into afflictions like schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.

For many poorly understood mental disorders, such as schizophrenia or autism, scientists often wish they could turn back the clock to uncover what has gone wrong in the brains of these patients, and how to right it before much brain damage ensues. But now, thanks to recent developments in the lab, that wish is coming true.

Researchers are using genetic engineering and growth factors to reprogram the skin cells of patients with schizophrenia, autism, and other neurological disorders and grow them into brain cells in the laboratory. There, under their careful watch, investigators can detect inherent defects in how neurons develop or function, or see what environmental toxins or other factors prod them to misbehave in the petri dish. With these "diseases in a dish" they can also test the effectiveness of drugs that can right missteps in development, or counter the harm of environmental insults.

"It's quite amazing that we can recapitulate a psychiatric disease in a petri dish," says neuroscientist Fred (Rusty) Gage, a professor of genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and member of the executive committee of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind (KIBM) at the University of California, San Diego. "This allows us to identify subtle changes in the functioning of neuronal circuits that we never had access to before."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Kavli Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Kavli Foundation. "By reprogramming skin cells into brain cells, scientists gain new insights into mental disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012124205.htm>.
The Kavli Foundation. (2011, October 12). By reprogramming skin cells into brain cells, scientists gain new insights into mental disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012124205.htm
The Kavli Foundation. "By reprogramming skin cells into brain cells, scientists gain new insights into mental disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111012124205.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins