Researchers at USC [University of Southern California] have utilized stem cells to track neuronal growth and identify specific genes that appear to be responsible for the development of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. The study linked the DISC1 gene to the development of schizophrenia, which currently does not have effective treatments and causes disproportionate disability compared to other neurological disorders. Like many neurological disorders, the source of schizophrenia has been ambiguous and this research, with the use of stem cells, is helping to navigate this disorder. Through the utilization of stem cells, the study determined how genes like DISC1 function in the body, and their downstream impact on protein function and neurotransmitter production by tracking the gene expression.
This innovative research paves the way for researchers to identify protein risk factors that could allow for early diagnosis of neurological disorders, prior to the emergence of debilitating symptoms, as well as the promise of treatments that are targeted for the specific gene-protein interactions. “This gives researchers specific trails to follow within cells from both healthy patients and those diagnosed with disorders,” says Marcelo Coba, Professor of Psychiatry at USC and author of the study.
Advances in stem cell based regenerative treatments are creating more effective treatment options for patients suffering from a wide variety of disease, trauma and injury. To learn more about stem cells, and how families can bank their own valuable stem cells by recovering the very powerful dental pulp stem cells during routine dental procedures; such as wisdom teeth extractions or the during the loss of baby teeth, visit StemSave or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
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