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Cellular Models for Mood Disorders

Principal Investigator: Fernando Goes, M.D.

(IRB Protocol # NA_00044928)

In the past scientists have had almost no access to living brain tissue. This has slowed research of brain disorders like bipolar disorder and major depression since we have not been able to study the nerve cells that are likely to play an important role in disease. Now new technologies may help us gain a “proxy”, or a window into the brain from tissue that is much more easily accessible. Scientists at Johns Hopkins are able to isolate nerve cells from the superficial lining of the nose (the nasal epithelium) and to transform skin cells into living neurons.

These nerve cells (or neurons) will be studied to detect molecular abnormalities that may be associated with severe mood disorders. These cells will also be studied with medications that are currently used to treat these illnesses, so that we may detect molecular differences that could help guide more effective treatment.

Participants can chose to be part of the nasal epithelium study, the skin cell study, or both.  Compensation is available for participation.

If you or a relative have bipolar disorder and are interested in participating, please call 443-287-2981.