Quadrato G, Brown J, Arlotta P. 2016. The promises and challenges of human brain organoids as models of neuropsychiatric disease. Nature medicine. 22(11):1220-1228. Pubmed: 27783065 DOI:10.1038/nm.4214


Neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD) are of great societal and medical importance, but the complexity of these diseases and the challenges of modeling the development and function of the human brain have made these disorders difficult to study experimentally. The recent development of 3D brain organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells offers a promising approach for investigating the phenotypic underpinnings of these highly polygenic disorders and for understanding the contribution of individual risk variants and complex genetic background to human pathology. Here we discuss the advantages, limitations and future applications of human brain organoids as in vitro models of neuropsychiatric disease.

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Dr. Arlotta is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation and assembly of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls how we sense, move and think. She integrates developmental and evolutionary knowledge to investigate therapies for brain repair and for modeling neuropsychiatric disease.

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