“The Startle reflex apparatus (with digitized electronic output) for Mice Models of Neuropsychiatric Disorders” is one of the medicine oriented open hardware projects of Cohort 2 (Science Edition!)
It is led by Royhaan Folarin, a Neurobiology Phd, lecturer of anatomical sciences and head of the Neurophytotherapy Research Lab, at the Department of Anatomy of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria. He investigates the developmental mechanics of psychotic and neurodegenerative disorders using mice and Drosophila models. He is also the COO of Science Communication Hub Nigeria, and won a fellowship of the African Science Literacy Network (FASLN) in 2019. At the lab, Royhaan works to identify therapeutic alternatives to the detrimental antipsychotics and neuro-palliatives currently obtainable.
Neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are usually studied through mice models. Patients of neuropsychiatric disorders like schizophrenia have been characterised by impairment in a phenomenon called Prepulse inhibition (PPI), startle reduction or reflex modification. This means that startle response in such individuals contravenes what is obtainable in normal individuals where a preceding weak stimulus (Prepulse) is expected to suppress the startle response to a subsequent stronger startle stimulus (pulse).