Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Nerve-signaling protein regulates gene associated with Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, have identified a protein that regulates a gene associated with schizophrenia. The study, published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, was chosen as an APSselect article for January.
Schizophrenia -- a chronic mental illness that affects a person's thoughts, feelings and behavior -- is determined in part by genetic makeup. The DISC1 gene is associated with developing schizophrenia. DISC1 is involved in the growth of nerve cells, proper nerve signaling and the ability of the brain to grow and adjust (neuroplasticity) throughout a person's lifetime. Loss of DISC1 function can interrupt the normal signaling pattern, which may lead to schizophrenia-like symptoms, such as movement disorders, memory problems and reduced expression of emotions."I do not have to bad of memory problems I can still remember numbers great.  I also watch how my memory is on other things and I think it is normal. Although I do know people with mental illness that have memory problems. As for reduced expression of emotions I think I fall into that category although I have nothing to base it on.
The article continues: "Caveolin (Cav-1) is a cell membrane protein that promotes nerve signaling and neuroplasticity in the nervous system. In this study, the research team looked at the interaction between Cav-1 and DISC1 in the nerve cells of mice. The team is the first to find that Cav-1 regulates the function of DISC1. Mice that did not express the Cav-1 protein had less DISC1 expression in the brain and showed symptoms on the molecular level similar to that seen in brains afflicted with schizophrenia. When the researchers reintroduced Cav-1 specifically in nerve cells of these mice, DISC1 protein, in addition to proteins critical for synaptic plasticity (the ability of neurons to grow and form new connections), returned to normal levels."  Now that sounds promising because if they can find medication that returns synaptic plasticity that would be great for all that have schizophrenia. Even though it would not help me I think it would be great for all other's that suffer this disease.
The article ends: "'The study's findings have significant implications for schizophrenia treatment. 'While pharmacological treatments such as antipsychotics are available for schizophrenia, these classes of drugs show poor efficacy for most patients, especially in reversing cognitive abnormalities,' wrote the researchers. 'Further understanding of how Cav-1 modulates DISC1 to maintain and organize neuronal growth signaling and proper function is of upmost importance to better understand and identify potential molecular targets for treating schizophrenia.'"What they have for medicine now is not all that great.  I do OK now but I have to always remember that after I take my medication I could fall asleep in the next two hours a side effect.  New medication that help a person grow is of the uppermost urgency.

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