Research Seeks to Break New Ground in Understanding of Schizophrenia – University of Copenhagen

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30 September 2014

Research Seeks to Break New Ground in Understanding of Schizophrenia

More than $6 million in funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is supporting new research that could fundamentally alter the way we comprehend and, perhaps ultimately, treat schizophrenia.

The research - which is being led by CTN co-directors Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., and Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc. - will explore the role that support cells found in the brain, called glia, play in the disease.

The new research is possible because of findings published by Goldman and Nedergaard last year that showed that glial cells play an important role in the complex signaling activity that is unique to the human brain. In these experiments the researchers showed that when human glial cells were implanted into the brains of newborn mice the human cells influenced communication within the animals' brains, allowing the mice to learn more rapidly.