Clumps of brain cells grown from the stem cells of two people with a neurological syndrome show signs of the disorder. The results, published August 23 in Nature Neuroscience, suggest that personalized brain organoids could be powerful tools to understand complex disorders.

Researchers are eager to create brain organoids, human stem cells coaxed into becoming 3-D blobs of brain cells, because of their ability to mimic human brains in the lab (SN: 2/20/18). In the current study, researchers grew two kinds of brain organoids. One kind, grown from healthy people’s stem cells, produced complex electrical activity that echoed the brain waves a full-sized brain makes. These waves, created by the coordinated firing of many nerve cells, are part of how the brain keeps information moving (SN: 3/13/18).

The researchers also grew organoids using cells from a 25-year-old woman and a 5-year-old girl with Rett syndrome, a developmental disorder marked by seizures, autism and developmental lags. Rett syndrome is thought to be caused by changes in a gene called MECP2, mutations that the lab-grown organoids carried as well.

These organoids looked like those grown from healthy people, but behaved differently in some ways. Their nerve cells fired off signals that were too synchronized and less varied. Some of the brain waves these organoids produced are reminiscent of a brain having a seizure, in which a bolus of electrical activity scrambles normal brain business.

With organoids carrying Rett syndrome mutations, scientists can better understand the syndrome and even begin to test possible treatments. Organoids might yield insights into other disorders, too, says coauthor Bennett Novitch, a developmental neuroscientist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Work on this front is already under way in labs around the world.”

Source: How personalized brain organoids could help us demystify disorders

 8 readers,  1 today

How personalized brain organoids could help us demystify disorders - Click To Share

Other recent press releases

*This is a free press release. All upgraded press releases are ad-free!

Several Members of Congress Want to Block Amazon’s Acquisition of iRobot

Several members of the U.S. Congress issued a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the announced acquisition of iRobot Corporation by Amazon.com Inc. Here’s why the lawmakers have concerns over the purchase. What Happened A letter recommending the FTC reject the planned acquisition of iRobot by Amazon.com was signed by some members of

 33 readers,  33 today

ESPN, ACC, SEC And Other Disney Channels Gone From DISH Network

Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.Icon Sportswire via Getty Images In a bold move, the Walt Disney DIS Company forced Charlie Ergen’s DISH Network DISH and Sling TV to pull down the signals of all of its cable networks, including ESPN ACC Network, SEC Network and a number of ABC Television stations. Typically

 25 readers,  25 today

Sweden Spellbinds Travelers With New Chilling Audio Story

The vast forests of Sweden possess both beauty and tranquility – but also drama and mystique. Sweden invites travelers to discover the country’s myth-filled forest in a spellbinding audio story written by internationally renowned author John Ajivde Lindqvist, only available in the Swedish forest. Through the short story, visitors receive an immersive experience of the

 43 readers,  43 today