Several lines of evidence support the role of an epigenetic-induced GABAergic cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia psychopathology, which is probably dependent on an increase in the expression of DNA-methyltransferase-1 occurring selectively in GABAergic neurons. The key enzyme regulating GABA synthesis, termed glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) and the important neurodevelopmental protein called reelin are coexpressed in GABAergic neurons. Upon release, GABA and reelin bind to postsynaptic receptors located in dendrites, somata, or the axon initial segment of pyramidal neurons.
Histone modifications and DNA methylation represent central dynamic and reversible processes that regulate gene expression and contribute to cellular phenotypes. These epigenetic marks have been shown to play fundamental roles in a diverse set of signaling and behavioral outcomes. Serotonin is a monoamine that regulates numerous physiological responses including those in the central nervous system.
BACKGROUND: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) produces "prosocial" effects that contribute to its recreational use. Few studies have examined the cognitive and behavioral mechanisms by which MDMA produces these effects. Here we examined the effect of MDMA on a specific prosocial effect, i.e. generosity, using a task in which participants make decisions about whether they or another person will receive money (Welfare Trade-Off Task; WTT). METHODS: The project included one study without drug administration and one with MDMA.
Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin are often claimed to be capable of inducing life-changing experiences described as mystical or transcendental, especially if high doses are taken. The present study examined possible enduring effects of such experiences by comparing users of psychedelic drugs (n = 88), users of nonpsychedelic illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, amphetamines) (n = 29) and non illicit drug-using social drinkers (n = 66) on questionnaire measures of values, beliefs and emotional empathy.
Hallucinogens and most cannabinoids are classified under schedule 1 of the Federal Controlled Substances Act 1970, along with heroin and ecstacy. Hence they cannot be prescribed by physicians, and by implication, have no accepted medical use with a high abuse potential. Despite their legal status, hallucinogens and cannabinoids are used by patients for relief of headache, helped by the growing number of American states that have legalized medical marijuana.