This article, based more on speculation than on clinical work, aims at clarifying the nature of child autistic syndromes using two elements: epigenetic findings concerning the construction of human brain and the idea that there is a self-organizing development and functioning of the living. First initiated by H. Atlan (1979) and A. Bourguignon (1981), this approach could lead to a fruitful understanding of autistic disturbances, both consistent with developmental neurobiology and psychodynamics.
In this paper we set forth the major meta-empirical concepts for mental disorders determination. We especially focus on the methodological prerequisites and particular compounds and the endophenotype construct in a case study of bipolar disorders. It is discussed as a mediating level between the genetic causation and the environmental influences in the mental disorder causation.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
The neurobiological mechanisms by which childhood maltreatment heightens vulnerability to psychopathology remain poorly understood. It is likely that a complex interaction between environmental experiences (including poor caregiving) and an individual's genetic make-up influence neurobiological development across infancy and childhood, which in turn sets the stage for a child's psychological and emotional development. This review provides a concise synopsis of those studies investigating the neurobiological and genetic factors associated with childhood maltreatment and adversity.
It has been estimated that the heritable component of bipolar disorder ranges between 80 and 90%. However, even genome-wide association studies explain only a fraction of phenotypic variability not resolving the problem of "lost heritability". Although direct evidence for epigenetic dysfunction in bipolar disorder is still limited, methodological technologies in epigenomic profiling have advanced, offering even single cell analysing and resolving the problem of cell heterogeneity in epigenetics research.
OBJECTIVE: This article provides an overview of research on the neurobiological correlates of childhood adversity and a selective review of treatment implications. METHOD: Findings from a broad array of human and animal studies of early adversity were reviewed. RESULTS: Topics reviewed include neuroendocrine, neurotrophic, neuroimaging, and cognitive effects of adversity, as well as genetic and epigenetic influences. Effects of early-life stress on treatment outcome are considered, and development of treatments designed to address the neurobiological abnormalities is discussed.
A large body of evidence describes the long term impact of stress on a number of biological systems and with it associated adverse health outcomes. This article will discuss the epigenetic mechanisms of the embedding of these long term changes, the differences in these mechanisms depending on the type and timing of stress exposure, including transgenerational effects as well as differences in the mechanisms for tissue specific versus more global epigenetic changes.
In the past two decades, much evidence has accumulated unequivocally demonstrating that child abuse and neglect is associated with a marked increase in risk for major psychiatric disorders (major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], substance and alcohol abuse, and others) and medical disorders (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, and others). Moreover, the course of psychiatric disorders in individuals exposed to childhood maltreatment is more severe.
In these last years, emotions and feelings, such as attachment, couple and parental bonding and even love, typical of higher mammals, neglected for centuries by experimental sciences, have become the topic of extensive neuroscientific research in order to elucidate their biological mechanisms. Several observations have highlighted the role of monoamines and of neuropeptides, in particular oxytocin, vasopressin and opioids, but this is only the beginning of the story.
Romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences. Both are linked to the perpetuation of the species and therefore have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance. The newly developed ability to study the neural correlates of subjective mental states with brain imaging techniques has allowed neurobiologists to learn something about the neural bases of both romantic and maternal love.
Love, attachment, and truth of human monogamy have become important research themes in neuroscience. After the introduction of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), neuroscientists have demonstrated increased interest in the neurobiology and neurochemistry of emotions, including love and affection.