wbackner writes: Researchers found that a bone marrow transplant cured mice that had a gene that cause them to excessively groom. Various permutations of deficient and normal bone marrow in the mice demonstrated the obsessive grooming was caused by mutant microglia cells that originate in the bone marrow and travel to the brain. The researchers state that this is the first study that demonstrates a mechanism for the immune system to affect behavior and cause psychiatric disorders. Although they don't know how the microglia cause the disorder or effect the brain they found that mice that had the gene for excessive grooming had 15% fewer microglia cells in the brain.
The authors are claiming that the excessive grooming is equivalent to trichotillomania and that a bone marrow transplant cures the disorder. The senior researcher Mario Capecchi is even supporting the media in claims that they may have found a new way of treating mental illnesses in general. Also, all media is focused on Mario, due to him being a Nobel Prize winner, even though he is not he first author and he is claiming all of the credit rather than properly giving it to the team. He was only the "senior researcher".