Monday, November 2, 2015

Schizophrenia and Memory

Scientists of the Transfaculty Research Platform "Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences" (MCN) at the University of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics have looked at and described a network of genes in the brain that control working memory, brain activity, and the mental disorder Schizophrenia in people who have it. The current study had a researcher look at 2800 healthy patients from different age groups and was able to pinpoint the genetic basis of working memory with the use of bioinformatic methods. The analysis revealed that a specific set of genes in the brain, voltage-gated ions channels, held some very big prevalence. These molecules give the neurons in the brain a very basic but important functions, their electric excitability. Another researcher by the name of Matthias Fastenrath did another study were he looked at the brain activity of over 700 healthy patients while they were performing working memory tasks. He found that the genes in the ion channels correlated strongly with two diffident areas of the brain that are very important for working memory, the cerebrum and the cerebellum. He found that any type of malfunctioning of this process in the brain could lead to the development of Schizophrenia. These discovery's are a very good starting point for researchers to start developing drugs that can combat memory related and psychiatric disorders. 

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