In anxiety disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorders and phobias, classical conditioning pairs natural (unconditioned) fear-eliciting stimuli with contextual or discrete cues resulting in enduring fear responses to multiple stimuli. Extinction is an active learning process that results in a reduction of conditioned fear responses after conditioned stimuli are no longer paired with unconditioned stimuli. Fear extinction often produces incomplete effects and this highlights the relative permanence of bonds between conditioned stimuli and conditioned fear responses.
Epigenetic mechanisms, i.e. the control gene of expression without changing DNA sequence, include DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) and microRNAs (miRNAs). Aberrant epigenetic modifications are associated with several pathological conditions, including brain diseases, resulting from environmental causes, ageing or genetic factors. The role of histone PTMs, including acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation and ubiquitylation, has been demonstrated in learning and memory, both in physiological conditions and in neuropathologies.
Alzheimer' s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia causing an increasing emotional and economical burden to our societies. Although much progress has been made regarding the molecular mechanisms that underlie AD pathogenesis effective therapies are not available yet. The emerging field of neuroepigenetics has provided evidence that de-regulation of epigenetic processes play a role in AD.
Pathological fear and anxiety are highly debilitating and, despite considerable advances in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy they remain insufficiently treated in many patients with PTSD, phobias, panic and other anxiety disorders.
BACKGROUND: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are conditions characterized by physical anomalies, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and neurocognitive deficits, including intellectual, executive, and memory deficits. There are no specific biological treatments for FASDs, but rodent models have shown that prenatal or postnatal choline supplementation reduces cognitive and behavioral deficits. Potential mechanisms include phospholipid production for axonal growth and myelination, acetylcholine enhancement, and epigenetic effects.
DM235 (sunifiram), a new compound structurally related to piracetam, prevented the amnesia induced by scopolamine (1.5 mg kg(-1) i.p.), after intraperitoneal (0.001-0.1 mg kg(-1)) or oral (0.01-0.1 mg kg(-1)) administration, as shown by a passive avoidance test in mice. The antiamnesic effect of DM235 was comparable to that of well-known nootropic drugs such as piracetam (30-100 mg kg(-1) i.p.), aniracetam (100 mg kg(-1) p.o.) or rolipram (30 mg kg(-1) p.o.).
The article presents modern data on depressive syndrome, its prevalence and possible reasons for its growth, the role of psychoemotional stress in the development of anxiety depression (AD), as well as psychosomatic diseases and syndromes and modern views on the mechanisms of their formation. The authors discuss methods of revealing and diagnostic criteria of AD and psychosomatic diseases, including those that develop against the background of masked depression.
Extensive research suggests that a number of plant-derived chemicals and traditional Oriental herbal remedies possess cognition-enhancing properties. Widely used current treatments for dementia include extracts of Ginkgo biloba and several alkaloidal, and therefore toxic, plant-derived cholinergic agents. Several non-toxic, European herbal species have pan-cultural traditions as treatments for cognitive deficits, including those associated with ageing. To date they have not received research interest commensurate with their potential utility.
British Journal of Nursing (Mark Allen Publishing)
Management of dementia should focus on the maintenance of function and independence for the person with the disease. Non-pharmacological interventions to manage dementia include reality orientation, aromatherapy and validation therapy. Non-pharmacological ways of managing challenging behaviour are recommended in current guidance. Drug treatments, which may stabilize the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease or slow down further progression for a time, have been available in the United Kingdom since 1997 and may help some people with dementia.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Behavioural and psychological symptoms (BPSD) are frequent in people with Alzheimer's disease and cause considerable stress to patients and their carers. Antipsychotics have been widely used as a first-line treatment, resulting in an estimated 1,800 excess strokes and 1,600 excess deaths in the UK alone. Safe and effective alternatives are urgently needed. Based upon preliminary evidence from clinical trials, aromatherapy with melissa oil may be such an alternative, but initial studies have been modest in size, and adequate blinding has been problematic.