Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia have bred a strain of schizophrenic mice by reducing the inhibition of brain cells involved in complex reasoning and social behavior.
To create the mice, the scientists altered a gene for schizophrenia, ErbB4.
"We believe the mouse, which exhibits some of the same aberrant behavior as patients with this disorder, will help identify better therapies," said Dr. Lin Mei, a developmental neurobiologist.
Anti-psychotic drugs already on the market are to be used on the mice to determine more effective treatments, Mei said in a release Tuesday.
It is the first time that scientists have been able to develop an animal model for the disorder, which affects about 1 percent of the U.S. population.