July 27, 2005

Protein Gives Clues for Schizophrenia

A protein has been discovered that may give clues as to the basis of schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis. "The team of scientists from the Department of Anatomy at the Yong Loon Lin School of Medicine at the NUS said that the protein controls the development of specialised brain cells which, in turn, provide insulation to the nerve signalling network. If these brain cells develop abnormally, the shield that protects nerve fibres can dysfunction or get destroyed. And once this shield is no longer protecting the fibres, nerve pathways are affected and neurological disorders occur" (Ramani, 2005).

Signals that come from different parts of the body could therefore cross over each other and lead to hallucinations. This could explain the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which are muscular weakness and the uncoordinated movements. It could also explain the delusions, hallucinations, and confusion of thought that often characterize schizophrenia. This protein has been called "juxtanodin" and scientists are stating that knowledge of it is integral to understanding "the myelin sheath that shields the nerve fibres".

This discovery will most likely give way to more research being done on the matter, potentially even leading to more effective medications or preventive measures for these disorders. The research results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Funding for this research was provided by the National University of Singapore's faculty's Academy Research Fund, A*Star's Biomedical Research Community and DBS.

The source of this article is MCN International, Channel NewsAsia, written there by Vinita Ramani.

You can access the full article at: http://tinyurl.com/7spnf


Just to clarify, I wrote the above article on juxtanodin and needed to make a correction to the headline, as advised by the Department of Anatomy, NUS, below: This is just to clarify for your readers!
Best wishes,

"Saying that our scientists have unlocked the ‘schizo’ protein is inaccurate.

We know that juxtanodin is an oligodendroglia protein that regulates differentiation of the cell. Others have found oligodendroglia/myelin problems in schizophrenia. Neither we nor anybody else in the world have done any study about the direct relation, if any, between juxtanodin and schizophrenia. Before that is done and positive evidences are obtained, we cannot make that claim".

Posted by: Vinita Ramani at July 28, 2005 11:28 PM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required