INTRODUCTION: Emotional reactivity and sleep constitute key dimensions of bipolar disorder. Emotional reactivity referred to emotion response intensity and emotion response threshold. Higher emotion reactivity is described during both mood episodes and periods of remission in bipolar disorder. As well, sleep disturbances are described during both acute episodes and euthymic periods in bipolar disorder. Links between sleep and emotion regulation start to be studied in general population.
BACKGROUND: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a prevalent anxiety disorder, but its neurobiological basis has been poorly studied. A few cognitive models have been proposed for understanding GAD development and maintenance. The aim of this study is to review functional Magnetic Resonance Image (fMRI) studies conducted with GAD patients and evaluate if they support and underpin the theoretical cognitive models proposed for this anxiety disorder. METHODS: A literature systematic review was undertaken in PubMed and ISI databases with no time limits.
Atrophy is one of the major age-related changes in the brain. The absence of brain atrophy in elderly individuals reflects deceleration in the process of biological aging. Moreover, results from human twin studies suggest a large genetic influence on the variance of human brain tissue volumes. To investigate the association of brain volumes with exceptional longevity, we tested whether middle-aged to elderly offspring of nonagenarian siblings have larger brain volumes than their spouses using magnetic resonance imaging.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are male-biased and characterized by deficits in social behavior and social communication, excessive anxiety or hyperreactivity to stressful experiences, and a tendency toward repetitiveness. The purpose of this review is to consider evidence for a role for two sexually dimorphic neuropeptides, oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (VP), in these features of ASD. Both VP and OT play a role in normal development. VP is androgen-dependent and of particular importance to male behavior.
BACKGROUND: Epigenetic mechanisms may be involved in the reprogramming of gene expression in response to stressful stimuli. This investigation determined whether epigenetic phenomena might similarly be associated with suicide/depression. METHODS: The expression of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) mRNA was assessed in several brain regions of individuals who had committed suicide and had been diagnosed with major depression relative to that of individuals who had died suddenly as a result of factors other than suicide.
WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Psychotherapy has traditionally competed with psychopharmacology. As drugs have become the more dominant treatment in psychiatry and primary care, this approach is increasingly criticized as limited in scope, lacking in robust outcomes and too heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. Our objective is to show that recent advances in neurobiology are clarifying that learning and environmental experiences, such as psychotherapy, change brain circuits as do drugs.
In this review, we propose that experiential and hormonal influences on biological sex during development may produce differences in the epigenome, and that these differences play an important role in gating risk or resilience to a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders. One intriguing hypothesis is that the framework belying sex differences in the brain creates differences in methylation and demethylation patterns, and these in turn confer risk and resilience to mental health disorders.
We examined epigenetic regulation in regards to behaviorally and clinically relevant human brain function. Specifically, we found that increased promoter methylation of the serotonin transporter gene predicted increased threat-related amygdala reactivity and decreased mRNA expression in postmortem amygdala tissue. These patterns were independent of functional genetic variation in the same region. Furthermore, the association with amygdala reactivity was replicated in a second cohort and was robust to both sampling methods and age.
Alcoholism is a complex psychiatric disorder that has a multifactorial etiology. Epigenetic mechanisms are uniquely capable of accounting for the multifactorial nature of the disease in that they are highly stable and are affected by environmental factors, including alcohol itself. Chromatin remodeling causes changes in gene expression in specific brain regions contributing to the endophenotypes of alcoholism such as tolerance and dependence.
Understanding the interaction between fear and reward at the circuit and molecular levels has implications for basic scientific approaches to memory and for understanding the etiology of psychiatric disorders. Both stress and exposure to drugs of abuse induce epigenetic changes that result in persistent behavioral changes, some of which may contribute to the formation of a drug addiction or a stress-related psychiatric disorder. Converging evidence suggests that similar behavioral, neurobiological and molecular mechanisms control the extinction of learned fear and drug-seeking responses.