Big brain evolution: mental illness perspective (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 20:07 (1002 days ago) @ David Turell

Persons who are mentally ill are an example of an improper brain-s/s/c interface:

"last year San Diego–based researchers uncovered new details about how lithium may alter moods, thanks to an approach recently championed by a small number of scientists studying mental illness: The San Diego team used established lab techniques to reprogram patients’ skin cells into stem cells capable of becoming any other kind—and then chemically coaxed them into becoming brain cells.

"This process is now providing the first real stand-ins for brain cells from mentally ill humans, allowing for unprecedented direct experiments. Proponents hope studying these lab-grown neurons and related cells will eventually lead to more precise and effective treatment options for a variety of conditions. The San Diego team has already used this technique to show some bipolar cases may have more to do with protein regulation than genetic errors. And another lab discovered the activity of glial cells (a type of brain cell that supports neuron function) likely helps fuel schizophrenia—upending the theory that the disorder results mainly from faulty neurons.


"Work with induced pluripotent stem cells has helped change how clinicians think about schizophrenia. Goldman and some colleagues reported in August glial cells play a central role in the disorder. The researchers took iPSCs from schizophrenic and healthy subjects, turned them into glial progenitor cells and showed that only the ones from the mentally ill patients would alter the behavior of mice implanted with them. These mice developed symptoms similar to those of some humans with schizophrenia, including reduced inhibition, social isolation and excessive anxiety."

Comment: this research demonstrates the obvious, how the s/s/c must depend on a properly functioning brain. An improperly functioning brain results in a skewed s/s/c. Just as a normal s/s/c must depend on a normal brain, advanced conceptualization must have an advanced complex brain with which to work.

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