BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Millions of dollars are going toward fighting high-profile disorders that affect millions of people.

Weijia Jiang explains the money going to Johns Hopkins could mean new treatments.

Johns Hopkins University researchers continue to make medical strides that have a global impact.

This time they are working on understanding disorders affecting millions, including autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia.

“This is the way drugs and therapeutics are developed, not only by studying the disease itself, but studying the basic biology, learning the basic biology and how it’s gone wrong,” said Dr. Richard Huganir, Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience.

Huganir, co-director of the Brain Sciences Institute or BSI, says all three disorders are linked to how neurons in the brain communicate in the space between them called “synapse.”

The School of Medicine granted BSI $5 million to study why abnormal synapse occurs, leading to problems.

The funding isn’t going to one specific project, rather a dozen independent studies that will hopefully work together to explain how the brain communicates.

“What we were trying to emphasize is bring different groups from across the university that normally don’t work together to come in and do new projects, new collaborative projects and start new programs, something creative and innovative to address these issues,” said Huganir.

Huganir says the research is one step closer to a finding a cure, and will likely lead to new treatments along the way that makes dealing with disorders easier.

The researchers who received funding come from four different schools other than Johns Hopkins University in hopes of bringing new ideas together.


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