The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry
Functional capacities, such as attachment and affect regulation, object relations capacity, symbolic function and language development, now documented by neuroscientific research and epigenetics, are reviewed. Results from this research, together with other factors, are posited to have contributed to effective contemporary psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic treatments for the psychoses and schizophrenias.
Recent discoveries about the effects of drugs of abuse on the brain and the mechanisms of their addictions; new chemical compounds, including immunotherapies; and new actions of available medications are offering many opportunities for the discovery and development of novel medications to treat addictive disorders. Furthermore, advancements in the understanding of the genetic and epigenetic basis of drug addiction and the pharmacogenetics of the safety and/or efficacy of the medications are providing opportunities for more individualized pharmacotherapy approaches.
Biomarkers have been receiving increasing attention, especially in the field of psychiatry In contrast to the availability of potent therapeutic tools including pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and biological therapies, unmet needs remain in terms of onset of action, stability of response, and further improvement of the clinical course. Biomarkers are objectively measured characteristics which serve as indicators of the causes of illnesses, their clinical course, and modification by treatment.
The field of genetics, which includes the use of 'omic' technologies, is an evolving area of science that has emerging application in phytotherapy. Omic studies include pharmacogenomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Herbal medicines, as monotherapies, or complex formulations such as traditional Chinese herbal prescriptions, may benefit from omic studies, and this new field may be termed 'herbomics'.
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.
BACKGROUND: Marijuana use by teenagers often predates the use of harder drugs, but the neurobiological underpinnings of such vulnerability are unknown. Animal studies suggest enhanced heroin self-administration (SA) and dysregulation of the endogenous opioid system in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAcsh) of adults following adolescent ?(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure. However, a causal link between proenkephalin (Penk) expression and vulnerability to heroin has yet to be established.
OBJECTIVES: Epigenetics refers to the heritable, but reversible regulation of various biological functions. Changes in DNA methylation and chromatin structure derived from histone modifications are involved in the brain development, pathogenesis and pharmacotherapy of brain disorders. KEY FINDINGS: Evidence suggests that epigenetic modulations play key roles in psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Understanding pharmacogenetic differences in drug response and tolerability has been an important area of research in personalized medicine, but the clinical utility of pharmacogenetics testing has not been established. Identification of genetic polymorphisms due to single nucleotide polymorphisms is the most common approach, but this does not take into account the potential relevance of copy number variants, noncoding RNA gene regulation, gene-gene and gene-interactions, and epigenetic modifications, which increase the complexity of pharmacogenomics research.
A discussion of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic management of mental disorders in the pregnant woman is presented, with the focus on alternative health approaches and nutrition awareness. The article explores some considerations of modifiable risk factors thought to play a role in epigenetic manifestations of infant and child illness. Several case examples show the potential for integrative medicine in patients of reproductive age.