All posts tagged: astrocytes

Study uncovers astrocytes’ role in repetitive behaviors linked to psychiatric disorders

Study uncovers astrocytes’ role in repetitive behaviors linked to psychiatric disorders

In a new study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health, a specific group of brain cells known as astrocytes has been found to play a significant role in behaviors associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders. Published in the journal Nature, this research challenges the long-standing belief that neurons are the sole controllers of behavior by highlighting the crucial function of a distinct group of astrocytes located in the central region of the brain, known as the central striatum. These astrocytes, characterized by their expression of the gene Crym, which encodes for the protein μ-crystallin, have been linked to the regulation of communication between neurons, thereby influencing repetitive behavioral patterns indicative of several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Astrocytes, star-shaped cells that form the support structure for neural communication networks in the central nervous system, have traditionally been viewed as passive players in brain function. However, this study reveals their active participation in the modulation of neurotransmitter communication at synapses, particularly in behaviors related to perseveration — repetitive or continuous behavior that serves …