A recent research may offer a new ray of hope to people with obsessive compulsive disorder. The study established that there is a close cause-and-effect link between immune system cells and mental illness. It will hopefully lead to the development of new psychiatric treatments.
As per the research, bone marrow transplants cure mutant mice that pull out their hair compulsively. It is already known that mice share more than 99% of the genes with humans. Experts feel that these findings can be replicated in people with similar disorders.
Researchers feel that that there is a direct relationship between a psychiatric disorder and the immune system. In the study, researchers focused on cells called microglia. These cells are derived from the bone marrow and are found in the brain.
Experts feel that this research will motivate researchers to develop new immune-based therapies for psychiatric disorders.
It was found in the research that conditions like pathological grooming and hair-pulling in mice which is similar to conditions in human beings is caused due to a mutant gene that results in defective microglia. These cells are present in the immune system and originate in the bone marrow and then migrate from the blood to the brain. These cells protect the brain and spinal cord by attacking and engulfing infectious agents.
Experts feel that it will still take years to conduct reliable clinical trials.