Tag Archives: National Institute of Mental Health

Stem Cell Possibilities in Autism Research

Announcer: Recently, Dr. Ricardo Dolmetsch, an associate professor of neurobiology at Stanford, spoke with National Institute of Mental Health Director Dr. Thomas Insel. Devoted to Autism Spectrum Disorder research, Dr. Dolmetsch and his colleagues have generated stem cells from children with autism allowing them to study how the brain develops in children with ASD.

Dr. Thomas Insel: I thought a good place to begin the conversation was to ask you about your interest in autism and how that happened. You’re someone who trained in calcium channels… worked on very basic problems in molecular biology and now you’re interested in autism…

Dr.
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Receives $1.2 Million to Expand Research Capabilities into Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Schizophrenia and Major Depression

Rutgers Establishes Stem Cell Repository for the Study of Mental Health Disorders

Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) has established a stem cell repository for the National Institute of Mental Health that will better enable researchers to study a variety of mental health disorders, including autism, attention deficit disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia, that affect millions of Americans.

“The biology of mental health disorders has been especially difficult to study because brain tissue from affected individuals is seldom available,” said principal investigator Jay A. Tischfield, Duncan and Nancy Macmillan Professor and director of the Human Genetics Institute. “With the award
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Stem cells to define the origins of Schizophrenia

Scientific consensus holds that most major mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, are genetically rooted diseases of synapses, the connections between neurons in the brain. Now research has demonstrated how a rare mutation in a suspect gene corrupts the on-off switches of dozens of other genes underlying these connections.

The study appears online in the current issue of the journal Nature. Employing a disease-in-dish technology called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the team of investigators, including UC Santa Barbara researchers, studied iPSCs from four members of an American family affected by genetically linked schizophrenia and related mental disorders.

Decades ago, researchers traced
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Self-Renewing Neural Stem Cells

Abundant precursor cells can become many types of neurons without introducing tumor risk

In a paper published in the April 25 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and colleagues report a game-changing advance in stem cell science: the creation of long-term, self-renewing, primitive neural precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that can be directed to become many types of neuron without increased risk of tumor formation.

“It’s a big step forward,” said Kang Zhang, MD, PhD,
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