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Penn team links schizophrenia genetics to disruption in how brain processes sound
Date:10/13/2011

The team demonstrated a number of sound-processing deficits in the brains of mice with the mutated gene. They discovered how a specific set of nerve cells that control fast brain activity lose their effectiveness when dysbindin protein levels are reduced. These specific nerve cells inhibit activity, but do so in an extremely fast pace, essentially turning large numbers of cells on and off very quickly in a way that is necessary to normally process the large amount of information travelling into and around the brain.

Other previous work at Penn in the lab of Michael Kahana, PhD has shown that in humans the fast brain activity that is disrupted in mice with the dysbindin mutation is also important for short-term memory. This type of brain activity is reduced in people with schizophrenia and resistant to current therapy. Taken as a whole, this work may suggest new avenues of treatment for currently untreatable symptoms of schizophrenia, says Carlson.


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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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