New ways to mass produce human neurons for studying neuropsychiatric disorders

Scientists from Singapore have streamlined the process of using human stem cells to mass produce GABAergic neurons (GNs) in the laboratory. This new protocol provides scientists with a robust source of GNs to study many psychiatric and neurological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, which are thought to develop at least in part due to GN dysfunction. GNs are inhibitory neurons that reduce neuronal activation, and make up roughly 20 per cent of the human brain. They work alongside excitatory neurons (ENs) to ensure balanced neural activity for normal brain function. The coordinated interplay between GNs and ENs orchestrate specific activation patterns in the brain, which are responsible for our behaviour, emotions, and higher reasoning. Functional impairment of GNs results in imbalanced neural activity, thereby contributing to the symptoms…


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