Brain study could yield clues to schizophrenia

Apr 02, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have revealed the role of one type of brain cell in the development of a process crucial for memory and learning.

An international study involving the University of Aberdeen has found that these cells - known as basket cells - continue to develop after birth, forming strongly wired networks.

Basket cells control where and when information flows in the brain by acting in what is known as an 'inhibitory" way. Although they make up less than 10% of the nerve cell population in the brain, basket cells efficiently control the activity of the other 90% of our which behave in an excitatory way.

Researchers found that basket cell networks continue to develop their functional capabilities which help generate the fast rhythms in the brain necessary for learning and memory.

Understanding more about the development of basket cells could give more of an insight into as it has been shown that people with this disease show a reduction in the number of these cells and a reduced wiring among them.

Dr Marlene Bartos, a neuroscientist and Reader at the University of Aberdeen's Institute of Medical Sciences, said: "Our work sheds new light on the development of and the emergence of cognitive function.

"Development of basket cell networks seems to be crucial for the emergence of fast brain rhythms which underline mental function.

"What we now need to do is to look in more detail at the function of basket cells in neurodevelopmental diseases such as schizophrenia which seem to be impaired in this illness."

The study has been published in the .

Provided by University of Aberdeen

Explore further: Study finds novel compound switches off epilepsy development

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Milestone in the regeneration of brain cells

Aug 20, 2007

The majority of cells in the human brain are not nerve cells but star-shaped glia cells, the so called “astroglia”. “Glia means “glue”, explains Götz. “As befits their name, until now these cells have been regarded ...

Rare cell prevents rampant brain activity

Mar 02, 2007

One of the mysteries of the brain is how it avoids ending up in a state of chaos, something which happens only on exceptional occasions, when it can lead to epileptic fits. Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now uncovered ...

SUMO wrestling in the brain

May 07, 2007

Increasing the amount of SUMO, a small protein in the brain, could be a way of treating diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia, reveal scientists at the University of Bristol, UK. Their findings are published online ...

Recommended for you

Why upper motor neurons degenerate in ALS

14 hours ago

For the first time, scientists have revealed a mechanism underlying the cellular degeneration of upper motor neurons, a small group of neurons in the brain recently shown to play a major role in ALS pathology.

Study finds novel compound switches off epilepsy development

15 hours ago

Researchers at the LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence have found that a novel compound they discovered helps curtail the onset and progression of temporal lobe epilepsy. The finding, which may contribute ...

A challenge to expedite Genervon's new ASL drug

Jan 27, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—The Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) went viral on social media last summer. Over 1.2 million videos were posted on Facebook alone. The difficulty ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.