BrainSpheres: antidepressant yields harmful effects on lab-grown ‘mini-brains’

Written by Heather Jones (Future Science Group)

Using stem cell-derived ‘mini-brains’ grown in the lab (referred to as BrainSpheres in this instance), researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (MD, USA) have demonstrated that a commonly used antidepressant drug could have damaging effects on the developing human brain. The study, published in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, also affirms the potential for these BrainSpheres as an alternative model for testing the effects of drugs and other chemicals on the developing brain. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are commonly used to treat depression during pregnancy, with at least hundreds of millions of prescriptions being taken out annually. One...

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