Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier May Increase The Risk Of Schizophrenia, Researchers Say

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Brain News: Blood-brain barrier protects the central nervous system against diseases and dangerous inflammation — at least when all is functioning normally. In a new study researchers have hypothesized that if this barrier is compromised, it could cause inflammation in the brain, which may, in turn, trigger schizophrenia.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia aimed to investigate the relationship between immunity and leaky blood-brain barrier and schizophrenia. They used cells isolated from healthy participants and from participants with a rare genetic disorder (known as DiGeorge syndrome or 22qDS) that increases the risk of schizophrenia.

Results showed that the blood-brain barriers derived from cells of the latter group were more ‘leaky’ and produced more inflammatory molecules, which allowed more immune cells to penetrate the barrier.

The team observed similar results when the same experiment was conducted in a mouse model of DiGeorge syndrome. Also the researchers performed the same tests in postmortem brain tissue from three people who had DiGeorge syndrome and from three age-matched healthy controls. They observed that the effectiveness of the actual blood-brain barrier of these people had indeed been compromised. The study concludes that schizophrenia and certain other neuropsychiatric conditions may be in part neuroinflammatory disorders.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Crockett, A. M., Ryan, S. K., Vásquez, A. H., Canning, C., Kanyuch, N., Kebir, H., Ceja, G., Gesualdi, J., Zackai, E., McDonald-McGinn, D., Viaene, A., Kapoor, R., Benallegue, N., Gur, R., Anderson, S. A., & Alvarez, J. I. (2021). Disruption of the blood–brain barrier in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. OUP Academic. https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/144/5/1351/6236329

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