Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have generated human induced pluripotent stem cell lines with mutations in the disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene that have been associated with multiple major mental illnesses (Srikanth P et al. Cell Reports. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.07.061 [published online August 20, 2015]).
Alterations in the gene are hypothesized to disrupt neural development in a way that predisposes an individual to conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression by increasing vulnerability to other genetic and environmental risk factors.
Hampton T. Stem Cell Model May Shed Light on Pathogenesis of Mental Illness. JAMA. 2015;314(13):1331. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.12350