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Published on Mar 25, 2014
New stem cell research published by scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School, and fueled by the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, may help scientists better understand bipolar disorder, and test new treatments for it.
The team used skin from people with bipolar disorder to derive the first-ever stem cell lines specific to the condition. Tthey 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.