New stem cell research has opened doors to potential new treatments for bipolar disorder, reports [s]Health India[/s]. The team from the [b]University of Michigan Medical School[/b] used skin from people with bipolar disorder to derive the first-ever stem cell lines specific to the condition. They transformed the stem cells into neurons, similar to those found in the brain, and compared them to cells derived from people without bipolar disorder. The comparison revealed very specific differences in how these neurons behave and communicate with each other, and identified striking differences in how the neurons respond to lithium, the most common treatment for bipolar disorder. It’s the first time scientists have directly measured differences in brain cell formation and function between people with bipolar disorder and those without.
[i]In other stem cell research[/i], scientists in the US have announced a research breakthrough that involves a more traditional means of producing these versatile cells. The [s]Los Angeles Times[/s] reports that researchers said they had successfully generated embryonic stem cells using fertilised mouse embryos – a feat that many scientists had thought was impossible. If the technique is found to work with human cells, it could open up new resources for stem cell production and hasten their use in a broad range of medical applications, including the repair of damaged organs and spinal cords.
[link url=http://health.india.com/news/first-stem-cell-research-paves-way-for-new-treatments-for-bipolar-disorder]Full Health India report[/link]
[link url=http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v4/n3/pdf/tp201412a.pdf]Nature research article[/link]
[link url=http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-scientists-claim-stem-cell-advance-20140326,0,1113774.story]Full Los Angeles Times report[/link]
[link url=http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13134.html]Nature abstract[/link]