Brain tissue is used to identify commonalities across neuropsychiatric disorders

Published May 25, 2016

In a recent study published in Nature, Dr. Shannon Ellis looks past the sequence of genes and uses gene expression profiling to understand the similarities between autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  Using brain tissue from people affected with these disorders provided through the Autism BrainNet, she demonstrates a common decrease in gene expression relating to the way brain cells (neurons) communicate and form connections.   This highlights the importance of examining gene expression from the primary tissue involved in these conditions—the cortical brain. There are features of gene expression that may be specific to autism, and some that are related to neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders in general.

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