BACKGROUND: Mindfulness meditation (MM) practices constitute an important group of meditative practices that have received growing attention. The aim of the present paper was to systematically review current evidence on the neurobiological changes and clinical benefits related to MM practice in psychiatric disorders, in physical illnesses and in healthy subjects. METHOD: A literature search was undertaken using Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, the Cochrane collaboration database and references of retrieved articles.
Attempts to correlate measures of intellectual ability with localized anatomical imaging features of the brain have yielded variable findings distributed across frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes. To better define the gray and white matter correlates of intellectual ability and the effects of sex and age, we analyzed the brains of 105 healthy individuals, ages 7-57 years, who had a Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) of 70 or higher. We examined associations of FSIQ with cortical thickness and with white matter volume throughout the cerebrum.
The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry: Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a 14-day healthy longevity lifestyle program on cognition and cerebral metabolism in people with mild age-related memory complaints.
Evidence is reviewed that one of the cognitive-affective parallel circuits in the brain, the dorsolateral prefrontal circuit, is compromised at the level of anatomical, neuropathological and transmitter-related molecules in a subgroup of schizophrenic patients. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) comprises a key structure in this circuit.
Stress is the major epigenetic factor that contributes to the etiology, pathophysiology, and treatment outcome of most psychiatric disorders. Understanding the mechanisms by which stress contributes to these processes can have important implications for improving therapeutic outcome.
BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is frequently accompanied by hypometabolism and altered gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. Cellular metabolism regulates chromatin structure, including covalent histone modifications, which are epigenetic regulators of gene expression. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that down-regulated metabolic gene expression is associated with histone modification changes in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia.
Among the most consistent results of studies of post-mortem brain tissue from schizophrenia patients (SZP) is the finding that in this disease, several genes expressed by GABAergic neurons are downregulated. This downregulation may be caused by hypermethylation of the relevant promoters in affected neurons. Indeed, increased numbers of GABAergic interneurons expressing DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) mRNA have been demonstrated in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of SZP using in situ hybridization.
In the cerebral prefrontal cortex (PFC), DNA-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), the enzyme that catalyzes the methylation of cytosine at carbon atoms in position 5 in CpG dinucleotides, is expressed selectively in GABAergic neurons and is upregulated in layers I and II of schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder patients with psychosis (BDP).
Histone deactylase enzymes are responsible for the deacetylation of histone tails, and consequently influence gene regulation through their ability to modify chromatin structure surrounding promoter regions. We analyzed the microarray collection of the National Brain Databank to investigate differential expression of these enzymes in the prefrontal cortices of control, schizophrenia and bipolar subjects. HDAC1 expression levels were significantly higher in schizophrenia versus normal subjects.
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.