Neuropsychiatric disorders are of complex etiology, often including a large genetic component. In order to help identify and study the molecular and physiological mechanisms that such genes participate in, numerous animal models have been established in a variety of species. Over the past decade, this has increasingly included the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we outline why we study an invertebrate organism in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders, and we discuss how we can gain insight from studies in Drosophila. We focus on a few disorders and findings to make the larger point that modeling these diseases in flies can have both mechanistic and predictive validity. Highlighting some translational examples, we underline the fact that their brains works more like ours than one would have anticipated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health