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Extra gene makes mice manic

| | October 25, 2013

Duplication of a single gene — and too much of the corresponding protein in brain cells — causes mice to have seizures and display manic-like behaviour, a study has found. But a widely used drug reversed the symptoms, suggesting that it could also help some people with hyperactivity who do not respond to common treatments.

The paper is a “really good example of the importance of gene dosage”, says Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. “It matters a lot whether you have no copies, one copy, two copies” or more of a given gene, he says.

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