Schizophrenia Research Forum - A Catalyst for Creative Thinking
Home Profile Membership/Get Newsletter Log In Contact Us
 For Patients & Families
What's New
Recent Updates
SRF Papers
Current Papers
Search All Papers
Search Comments
Research News
Conference News
Plain English
Current Hypotheses
Idea Lab
Online Discussions
Virtual Conferences
What We Know
Animal Models
Drugs in Trials
Research Tools
Community Calendar
General Information
Member Directory
Researcher Profiles
Institutes and Labs
About the Site
SRF Team
Advisory Board
Support Us
How to Cite
Fan (E)Mail
The Schizophrenia Research Forum web site is sponsored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and was created with funding from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
Plain English
back to Plain English Search News Story
Mouse Model of Mental Illness Points to New Therapy

July 16, 2013. Mice carrying a genetic glitch associated with mental illness have problems with flexible thinking and motivation, according to a report published July 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Led by Akira Sawa and Michela Gallagher, both at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, the researchers also found signs of oxidative stress, a condition marked by too many oxygen-related molecules that can damage neurons, in the brains of these mice. The results suggest that calming oxidative stress may be a treatment strategy for psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and major depressive disorder.

The researchers engineered mice to carry fragments of a protein called DISC1 (for disrupted in schizophrenia 1). These short versions of DISC1 are suspected to occur in humans who have inherited the faulty DISC1 gene and who are predisposed to mental illness. In tasks testing whether mice could learn new rules or work for a reward, mice carrying the short DISC1 struggled. In addition, their brains contained signs of oxidative stress in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region crucial for these behaviors. This suggests that problems with DISC1 translate into troubles for the prefrontal cortex, which can result in the thinking problems and apathy found in mental illness. (For more details, see the related news story.)—Michele Solis.

SRF News
SRF Comments
Text Size
Reset Text Size
Copyright © 2005- 2016 Schizophrenia Research Forum Privacy Policy Disclaimer Disclosure Copyright