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There is Hope for Bipolar Disorder in Stem Cells

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Stem cells grown by researchers from patients with bipolar disorder have finally shed more light on questions about the condition.

The cells with genetic information from the patients’ cells assumed to behave differently compared to cells taken from individuals who don’t suffer from the condition, in reference to the researchers’ report.

Sue O’ Shea, a stem cell expert at the University of Michigan who led the study, said they have already seen cells from people with bipolar disorder vary in how often they expressed certain genes, how they differentiate in to neurons, their communications, and their response to lithium.

The study fulfills one of the greatest promises relating to stem cells through the use of patient’s own cells to understand their condition.

It is quite challenging to study a mental condition. It is almost impossible to enter in to a living person’s brain, and scientist can not make the move to conduct a study.

For animals like mice with what looks like human mental illness, is inaccurate at best.

The researchers from the University of Michigan turned to pluripotent stem cells AKA iPS cells. This comprise of ordinary skin cells extracted from a patient and tricked in to turning back in to a state of just-conceived embryo.

These cells were grown from cells from patients with bipolar disorder that arose from stem cells and were coaxed to become neural progenitor cells – the type that becomes sort of nervous cells. The study found differences in behavior in comparison to cells obtained from people without bipolar disorder. This is in reference to the University of Michigan Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Lab.

To be pluripotent means they can assume any type of cell that exist. For this particular study, the Michigan team redirected the cells to become neurons (mostly found in brain cells). O’ Shea said that this gave them the model to use in the examination of how the cells behave as they turn in to neurons.

Nearly 3% of global population suffers from bipolar disorder, formally known as manic-depression. It can be inherited, meaning it has a strong genetic cause, and its symptoms include changes in moods from depression to euphoria and creativity that occurs in the manic phase.

50% of cases emerge once a person turns 25, in reference to National Institute of Mental Health. Treatment options include lithium, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. But doctors rely on try-and-error method in coming up with the best treatment approach.

With human brain cells in the lab dish, there will emerge better ways of dealing with the condition, according to the research.

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