Schizophrenic mouse developed

Dec. 30, 2009 at 2:40 PM
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AUGUSTA, Ga., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The development of schizophrenic mice should improve understanding and treatment of the disorder in humans, scientists in Georgia said.

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.

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