Brain Disease Alzheimer’s Treatment

New Model Helps Unravel Complex Psychiatric Disorders Such As Autism and Schizophrenia

The research focuses on mapping cis-regulatory components in human neurons that may be connected to the heredity of psychiatric disorders.

A Mount Sinai stem cell model may be able to shed light on the complex biology behind certain psychiatric disorders.

In order to map disease risk variants in human neurons, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai used a unique stem cell model. This work may help shed light on the biological mechanisms behind neuropsychiatric diseases such as autism and schizophrenia.

Nan Yang

Nan Yang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience. Credit: Mount Sinai Health System

The group’s in vitro cellular model, which was recently published in the journal Cell Reports, was created to make it easier for future researchers to understand the disease mechanisms involving genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that characterize various risk alleles (common genetic variants conferring risk) for psychiatric disorders. This study could help develop better diagnostic methods for spotting mental problems years before patient symptoms manifest.

The research focuses on identifying cis-regulatory elements in human neurons that could be related to the heritability of psychiatric disorders. Cis-regulatory elements, which include enhancers and promoters, are non-coding
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