A gene strongly associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders regulates the birth of new neurons in the adult brain, according to new research. linkurl:The study,;http://www.cell.com/fulltext/S0092-8674(09)00021-X published in Cell this week, supports a controversial theory linking diseases such as schizophrenia and depression to neurogenesis and provides new targets for the treatment of psychiatric conditions.
"This is the first time anybody has ever shown that this protein [coded by the gene] directly regulates the number of neural progenitors," said linkurl:Li-Huei Tsai,;http://web.mit.edu/picower/faculty/tsai.html main author and neuroscientist at the Picower Institute of Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previous studies have linked schizophrenia to disturbances in neurogenesis in a brain region called the hippocampus and suggested that anti-depressant medications such as Prozac work by stimulating hippocampal neurogenesis. The new findings link the gene, DISC1, to a well-studied signaling pathway that controls neurogenesis and the development of the...
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