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Why symptoms of schizophrenia emerge in young adulthood
Date:2/25/2010

se to communicate, were markedly immature as the animals entered adolescence. Furthermore, the animals showed signs of a deficit of interneurons, nerve cells that connect other neurons in neural pathways.

They also found several behavioral differences between these mice compared to normal mice as the animals entered adolescence. For example, those in the shutoff group reacted more strongly to stimulants, displaying more locomotion than normal mice. Interestingly, these effects were somewhat mitigated when the researchers gave the animals clozapine, a drug used to treat schizophrenia.

Taken together, Sawa says, results of both studies suggest that these anatomical differences, which seem to be influenced by the DISC1 gene, cause problems that start before birth but surface only in young adulthood.

"If we can learn more about the cascade of events that lead to these anatomical differences, we may eventually be able to alter the course of schizophrenia. During adolescence, we may be able to intervene to prevent or lessen symptoms," Sawa says.


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Contact: Christen Brownlee
cbrownlee@jhmi.edu
410-955-7832
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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