Scientists use stem cells to study bipolar disorder - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Scientists use stem cells to study bipolar disorder

Updated: March 25, 2014 02:13 PM
© Thinkstock / Comstock / Thinkstock © Thinkstock / Comstock / Thinkstock
  • HealthMore>>

  • The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
  • Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
  • Lift U.S. ban on blood donations by gay men

    Lift U.S. ban on blood donations by gay men

    The United States should repeal a 30-year policy that bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to a team of medical and legal experts writing this week in the Journal of the American Medical...
    The United States should repeal a 30-year policy that bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to a team of medical and legal experts writing this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Latest Health NewsThe Latest from HealthDayMore>>

  • The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
  • Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
  • Lift U.S. ban on blood donations by gay men

    Lift U.S. ban on blood donations by gay men

    The United States should repeal a 30-year policy that bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to a team of medical and legal experts writing this week in the Journal of the American Medical...
    The United States should repeal a 30-year policy that bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men, according to a team of medical and legal experts writing this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Brain cells of patients with bipolar disorder act differently than those of people without the mental illness, according to scientists who conducted a stem cell study of the condition.

The investigators said their research might one day lead to a better understanding of bipolar disorder and new treatments for the disease, which causes extreme emotional highs and lows. About 200 million people worldwide have bipolar disorder.

"We're very excited about these findings. But we're only just beginning to understand what we can do with these cells to help answer the many unanswered questions in bipolar disorder's origins and treatment," said study co-leader Dr. Melvin McInnis, a professor of bipolar disorder and depression at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The study authors took skin stem cells from people with and without bipolar disorder and transformed them into neurons similar to brain cells. It's the first time that stem cell lines specific to bipolar disorder have been created, the researchers said.

They discovered distinct differences in how the two sets of neurons behave and communicate with each other. The cells also differed in their response to lithium, the most widely used treatment for bipolar disorder.

The study was published online March 25 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

"This gives us a model that we can use to examine how cells behave as they develop into neurons," study co-leader Sue O'Shea, a professor in the department of cell and developmental biology and director of the University of Michigan Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Lab, said in a university news release.

"Already, we see that cells from people with bipolar disorder are different in how often they express certain genes, how they differentiate into neurons, how they communicate, and how they respond to lithium," O'Shea said.

McInnis said it's possible the research could lead to new types of drug trials. If it becomes possible to test new drug candidates in these cells, patients would be spared the current trial-and-error approach that leaves many with uncontrolled symptoms, he said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about bipolar disorder.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.