Stem cells from adult schizophrenia patients form new proteins more slowly than those from healthy people, according to new research.

The findings are enhancing understanding of how schizophrenia affects the workings of the brain, and open the way to new approaches for future drug therapies.

Involving scientists from Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and University College Dublin, the research is published online in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

According to the Eskitis Institute’s Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim, analysis of almost 1000 proteins in patients’ stem cells indicated their cellular machinery for making new proteins was reduced, with the rate of protein synthesis greatly impaired.

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