Bone Marrow Transplants Shown to Cure Mentally Ill Mice, Linking Immune Issues to Psychiatric Disorders

Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 16:42 in Health & Medicine

Feeling a bit obsessive-compulsive? New research suggests maybe it's not all in your head after all. More likely, researchers say, it's in your bones. A Nobel laureate at the University of Utah claims he has cured an OCD-like behavior in mice by giving them bone marrow transplants. That's right, bone marrow transplants. And while the costs and risks associated with bone marrow transplants make it such that humans would not want to consider the procedure as a treatment option for mental illness, the findings show a direct link between a psychiatric disorder and problems with the immune system. That could potentially inspire a new spate of immune-based research into treatments for maladies often perceived as neural or behavioral. To make the immune-psychiatric connection, the team performed bone marrow transplants on mice that carry a defective gene that causes them to groom themselves too often and for far too long, rubbing...

Read the whole article on PopSci

More from PopSci

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net