Getting to the Root of the Problem: Stem Cells Are Revealing New Secrets about Mental Illness

February 28, 2018

(Scientific American) – But last year San Diego–based researchers uncovered new details about how lithium may alter moods, thanks to an approach recently championed by a small number of scientists studying mental illness: The San Diego team used established lab techniques to reprogram patients’ skin cells into stem cells capable of becoming any other kind—and then chemically coaxed them into becoming brain cells. This process is now providing the first real stand-ins for brain cells from mentally ill humans, allowing for unprecedented direct experiments.

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