Mental Health Watch: Blood Cells Hold Potential Key to Effective Neuropsychiatric Treatment

Although the medical understanding of the biology behind mental health disorders has generally increased, no new neuropsychiatric drugs with improved treatment effects have been developed in the past few decades, because doctors cannot take brain tissue samples from patients as they would for a biopsy of a cancer tumor elsewhere in the body.

Human blood cells contain many receptors and proteins involved in signaling that are also found in the central nervous system (CNS) and have been linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. Results of previous research have shown a strong connection between cells in the blood and the way the CNS operates, making blood cells an ideal environment in which to test potential new drugs.