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UNDERSTANDING SCHIZOPHRENIA

ANCHOR LEAD:  CAN A MOUSE MODEL HELP US UNDERSTAND SCHIZOPHRENIA?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Schizophrenia is arguably one of the most destructive and disturbing psychiatric conditions, and the riddle of why it develops, largely in young adults, has been plaguing researchers for many years.  Now a group led by Akira Sawa at Johns Hopkins has developed a mouse model that is shedding light on schizophrenia development.

SAWA: In the animal model we have generated, minor but critical architecture of neuron network was disturbed in early development.         :11

The model shows that very small, very early disruptions in brain anatomy can have a large impact in later life.

SAWA:  I don’t say genetic study is ultimate goal for schizophrenia research, just it’s very useful tool for studying this key element for pathology of schizophrenia.   :12

Sawa says the model may also point the way to early interventions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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