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Mice engineered with a human gene for schizophrenia and exposed to lead during early life exhibited behaviors and structural changes in their brains consistent with schizophrenia. Scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine say their findings suggest a synergistic effect between lead exposure and a genetic risk factor, and open an avenue to better understanding the complex gene-environment interactions that put people at risk for schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
Results appear online in Schizophrenia Bulletin.
Neurons derived from schizophrenic patients.
CREDIT: Dr. Kristen Brennand, Salk Institute for Biological Studies.