Navigation Links
Dr. Mei honored by mental health research charity for schizophrenia studies
Date:4/24/2008

Studies of how brain cell communication may be altered in schizophrenia have earned Dr. Lin Mei, chief of developmental neurobiology at the Medical College of Georgia, a 2008 Distinguished Investigator Award from NARSAD.

Dr. Mei, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Neuroscience and professor in the MCG School of Medicines Department of Neurology, is one of 11 scientists to receive the award, which includes a $100,000 one-year grant from the worlds leading charity dedicated to mental health research.

He has found that two genes, important for human development and implicated in other disorders including cancer and seizures, normally enable a healthy balance of brain cell excitation and inhibition. In 2007, Dr. Meis lab showed neuregulin-1 and its receptor, ErbB4, promote inhibition at the site of inhibitory synapses in the brain by increasing release of GABA, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. Seven years earlier, he led a team that showed that the gene pair suppresses synapses between neurons where the neurotransmitter glutamate excites cells to action. According to our model, it inhibits, Dr. Mei says of neuregulin-1.

Schizophrenia has been labeled a degenerative disease where neurons die and a developmental disease where the wiring is laid wrong. Dr. Meis research shows problems in neuron communication, likely also are to blame. Its a complex disease, says Dr. Mei in which neuregulin-1 expression is off balance, possibly the result of mutations in the neuregulin-1 gene.

He believes even a subtle imbalance in brain cell excitation and inhibition helps explain the cognitive problems in schizophrenia and possibly other disease hallmarks of hallucinations and social disconnection. He also believes that correcting the imbalance is doable. Say neurotransmission is high: you could try to suppress it. If low, you could try to stimulate it.

Dr. Mei already has inhibitors and activators in his lab refrigerator. They arent clinical-grade but have helped him illustrate what happens when neuregulin-1 activity goes up or down. One of his many goals is to identify small molecules, which are soluble, deliverable and would similarly manipulate neuregulin function. You would hope they would be like aspirin: easily deliverable to the brain, says Dr. Mei.

Neuregulin-1 actually has about six known types, and type I is expressed in higher levels in the pre-frontal cortex of schizophrenics, the portion of the brain critical to cognition, learning and working memory. That 2004 finding by National Institute of Mental Health scientists shifted the focus toward type I and Dr. Mei toward development of an animal model that also expresses high levels of type I neuregulin. Most studies, including his, use models in which the genes are knocked out.

Knockout models do not mimic what is going on in the patient, says Dr. Mei. A recent $514,000, three-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health grant will enable him to develop a mouse that may.

Dr. Mei also recently received a $1.6 million, five-year grant from the institute to further study neuregulin-1s regulation of neurotransmission. He wants to know which transcription factors bind to neuregulin-1 to regulate expression and how they do it. He suspects mutated genes change how much binding occurs and, consequently, how much neuregulin is expressed. He also wants to know exactly how neuregulin-1, in turn, controls GABA release, and, ultimately if the resulting signal the neuron sends is determined by neuregulin-1. His work indicates the protein probably does have a powerful role in determining neuron talk.

Dr. Mei exemplifies the kind of individual we try to single out for the Distinguished Investigator Award: an outstanding scientist, representing the very best in the field, with an important body of work behind him, and currently pursuing innovative and promising research, says Geoff Birkett, NARSAD president.

Dr. Mei also recently received the 2008 Mathilde Solowey Lecture Award in Neurosciences. The annual award, administered by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, honors rising neuroscientists who excel in cutting-edge, translational research that is of broad importance. As the award recipient, Dr. Mei will discuss his studies May 15 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.


'/>"/>

Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Vida Health Communications, Inc. to Be Honored as Tibbetts Award Winner
2. Live Webcast With President George H.W. Bush as Bono and DATA Are Honored With National Constitution Centers 2007 Liberty Medal in Historic Philadelphia
3. MassMutual Agent Honored by Insurance Industry for Extraordinary Service to Client
4. Abbott Again Honored as Top Company for Working Moms
5. Three Batesville Casket Company Production Facilities Honored for Manufacturing Expertise by National Organizations
6. Abbotts HUMIRA(R) (adalimumab) Honored With Prestigious Galen Prize for Innovation in Patient Care
7. PureCart Systems of Green Bay, Wis., is an Honored Recipient of an iParenting Media Award
8. Concentra Honored With Silver Health at Work(SM) Award by ComPsych(R) Corp.
9. Terrell Herring Honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters
10. The Legendary Sir Roger Moore to be Honored at The Thalians 52nd Anniversary Gala On October 21, 2007 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to Benefit The Thalians Mental Health Center at Cedars Sinai
11. Vital Work of Emergency Nurses Honored Across the Nation During Emergency Nurses Week, October 7-13, 2007
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Dr. Mei honored by mental health research charity for schizophrenia studies
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... charity program created to assist the people of their local community. The agency ... organizations and community leaders. Their hope is to bring awareness to important local ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... ... Dr. Elyson and Dr. Assili, dentist in Northridge , announce that they ... common dental procedure, is performed for many adolescents and young adults today. While wisdom ... complications. By providing wisdom tooth removal surgery at their office, Dr. Elyson and Dr. ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... ... Francesca Loparco, Co-Founder of Queen City Dream Cars, an exotic car rental business ... at Christenbury Eye Center. The entrepreneur struggled with her computer, riding horses and driving ... her in-office consultation and eye exam. Francesca’s eyesight was restored to 20/20 in both ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Bayco ... compact tactical (6.7 inch) dual-light flashlights in models NSP-9842XL and NSR-9844XL . ... retail starting at $59.95) uses 2 included CR-123 batteries to produce up to ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Warren L. Smith M.D. , There ... UTIs, have plagued people since the beginning of recorded medical history, and in ... every year. It's not just a matter of inconvenience; bladder infections cost us billions ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016 Valeritas Holdings, ... an alternative public offering (APO). This was accomplished via ... Valeritas, Inc. and a private placement of approximately 5 ... per share. Under the terms of the ... Valeritas Holdings, Inc. will trade on the OTC Markets ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... of the  "Global Actinic Keratosis Market and ... their offering.       (Logo: ... Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides ... Actinic Keratosis epidemiology, Actinic Keratosis market valuations ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Cell Therapy Market Outlook 2020" report to their ... , ,Recombinant technology has improved significantly in past years ... developed in coming years. Many cancer drugs have been ... therapies are also expected to be developed with its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: