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What A Mouse Brain Can Teach Us About Schizophrenia

  • Published6 Feb 2015
  • Reviewed6 Feb 2015
  • Author Michael W. Richardson
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN
GABA neurons are highlighted in red in the cross-section of a mouse brain.
Nguyen, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2014.

 Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that can cause hallucinations, delusions, and other cognitive impairments, and it affects about one percent of the population. Researchers have found that a group of neurons in the ventral hippocampus may play a role in some of these symptoms. These cells, called GABA neurons, are highlighted in red in the cross-section of a mouse brain above. When researchers prevented the neurons from communicating with other cells in mice, they showed behaviors associated with schizophrenia in people. This finding not only shines a light on a potential cause of schizophrenia symptoms, but also offers insight on how GABA cells influence behavior in general.

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