The Scientist - November 1 The Psychiatrist's Jigsaw - Megan Scudellari
Researchers are piecing together the devilishly complex sets of genetic alterations underlying schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. One theory that has arisen from genetic studies is that schizophrenia is caused by dysfunctional oligodendrocytes-non-neuron brain cells that produce myelin sheaths. In 2001, Joseph Buxbaum, MD, and colleagues at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ran gene expression microarrays of brain samples from patients with schizophrenia and healthy, matched controls from the hospital's brain bank. When the results came in, "there was only one glaringly obvious similarity - there were coordinated groups of genes, which were going down in schizophrenic patients, and they were all directly tied to oligodendrocytes," says Buxbaum.
-Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, Professor, Psychiatry, Genetic and Genomic Sciences, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai