What Does a Fish Have to Do With Our Brains?

Some researchers at the Ohio State University have been observing the rapidly developing brain in the zebrafish embryo. This is helping them to begin to better understand the basis of brain disorders like autism and schizophrenia.

These researchers are interested in understanding the changes that can take place during neurological development, the kind of changes that come from genetic defects that are often associated with neurological disease. They are particularly interested in figuring out why the loss of the gene Protocadadherin-19. It is already known that this loss-mutation is linked to many brain disorders—this study looks into the mechanics of “why?”

The research demonstrates that a clustering of cell interactions is a likely culprit to healthy brain development.

The study examined normal “wild” zebra fish versus those in which the researchers created PCDH19 loss. They found that, maybe, cell interactions after PCDH19 loss cold be a culprit.