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Tretter F.,Kompetenzzentrum Sucht | Gebicke-Haerter P.J.,Central Institute for Mental Health
Methods in Molecular Biology

The classification of psychiatric disorders has always been a problem in clinical settings. The present debate about the major systems in clinical practice, DSM-IV and ICD-10, has resulted in attempts to improve and replace those schemes by some that include more endophenotypic and molecular features. However, these disorders not only require more precise diagnostic tools, but also have to be viewed more extensively in their dynamic behaviors, which require more precise data sets related to their origins and developments. This enormous challenge in brain research has to be approached on different levels of the biological system by new methods, including improvements in electroencephalography, brain imaging, and molecular biology. All these methods entail accumulations of large data sets that become more and more difficult to interpret. In particular, on the molecular level, there is an apparent need to use highly sophisticated computer programs to tackle these problems. Evidently, only interdisciplinary work among mathematicians, physicists, biologists, and clinicians can further improve our understanding of complex diseases of the brain. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Koutroukides T.A.,University of Cambridge | Guest P.C.,University of Cambridge | Leweke F.M.,Central Institute for Mental Health | Bailey D.M.D.,University of Cambridge | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Separation Science

While it is known that immunoaffinity depletion of abundant proteins in serum removes additional proteins beyond those targeted, there has been little characterization of the co-depleted proteins in the high abundant fraction, which we refer to here as the "depletome". We present evidence of co-depletion of non-targeted proteins in human serum using a top-20 immunodepletion column, as shown by label-free liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS E) profiling. This led to identification of 147 proteins which were specific for this fraction and comprised proteins with functions predominantly in binding and transport of nucleotides, metal ions, carbohydrates and lipids. These results suggest that further studies on this commonly ignored serum fraction may provide new insights into clinical proteomics. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Ramchandani V.A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Umhau J.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Pavon F.J.,Scripps Research Institute | Ruiz-Velasco V.,Pennsylvania State University | And 14 more authors.
Molecular Psychiatry

Excessive alcohol use, a major cause of morbidity and mortality, is less well understood than other addictive disorders. Dopamine release in ventral striatum is a common element of drug reward, but alcohol has an unusually complex pharmacology, and humans vary greatly in their alcohol responses. This variation is related to genetic susceptibility for alcoholism, which contributes more than half of alcoholism risk. Here, we report that a functional OPRM1 A118G polymorphism is a major determinant of striatal dopamine responses to alcohol. Social drinkers recruited based on OPRM1 genotype were challenged in separate sessions with alcohol and placebo under pharmacokinetically controlled conditions, and examined for striatal dopamine release using positron emission tomography and 11 C-raclopride displacement. A striatal dopamine response to alcohol was restricted to carriers of the minor 118G allele. To directly establish the causal role of OPRM1 A118G variation, we generated two humanized mouse lines, carrying the respective human sequence variant. Brain microdialysis showed a fourfold greater peak dopamine response to an alcohol challenge in h/mOPRM1-118GG than in h/mOPRM1-118AA mice. OPRM1 A118G variation is a genetic determinant of dopamine responses to alcohol, a mechanism by which it likely modulates alcohol reward. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Grigoroiu-Serbanescu M.,Biometric Psychiatric Genetics Research Unit | Rietschel M.,Central Institute for Mental Health | Hauser J.,Poznan University of Medical Sciences | Czerski P.M.,Poznan University of Medical Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders

Background Age-of-onset (AO) is increasingly used in molecular genetics of bipolar I disorder (BP-I) as a phenotypic specifier with the goal of reducing genetic heterogeneity. However, questions regarding the cut-off age for defining early onset (EO), as well as the number of onset groups characterizing BP-I have emerged over the last decade with no definite conclusion. The aims of this paper are: 1) to see whether a mixture of three distributions better describes the AO of BP-I than a mixture of two distributions in different independent samples; 2) to compare the morbid risk (MR) for BP-I and for major affective disorders and schizophrenia in first degree relatives of BP-I probands by proband onset group derived from commingling analysis, since the MR to relatives is a trait with strong genetic background. Methods We applied commingling (admixture) analysis to the AO of three BP-I samples from Romania (n=621), Germany (n=882), and Poland (n=354). Subsequently, the morbid risk (MR) for BP-I and for major psychoses (BP-I, BP-II, Mdd-UP, schizoaffective disorders, schizophrenia) was estimated in first degree relatives by proband AO-group derived from admixture analysis in the Romanian sample. Results In the three independent samples and in the combined sample two- and three-AO-group distributions fitted the empirical data equally well. The upper EO limit varied between 21 and 25 years from sample to sample. The MR for both BP-I and for all major psychoses was similar in first degree relatives of EO probands (AO≤21) and in relatives of intermediate-onset probands (AO=22-34). Significant MR differences appeared only when comparing the EO group to the late-onset (LO) group (AO;gt&34). Similar to Mdd-UP and schizophrenia, a significant MR decrease in proband first degree relatives was visible after proband AO of 34 years. Under the three-AO-group classification the MR for both BP-I and all major psychoses in first degree relatives did not differ by relative sex in any proband AO-group. Under the two-AO-group classification female relatives of LO probands (AO;gt&24) had a significantly higher MR for all major psychoses than male relatives, while there was no sex difference for the relatives of EO probands. Limitations MR was not computed in the German and Polish samples because family data were not available and 34% of the relatives of the Romanian probands were not available for direct interview. Conclusion Similar to other clinical traits, the MR for major psychoses to relatives failed to support a three-AO-group classification in BP-I suggesting that this is not more useful for the molecular analysis than a two-AO-group classification. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Boehringer A.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Boehringer A.,Central Institute for Mental Health | Macher K.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | Dukart J.,Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Brain Stimulation

Background: Neuroimaging studies show cerebellar activations in a wide range of cognitive tasks and patients with cerebellar lesions often present cognitive deficits suggesting a cerebellar role in higher-order cognition. Objective: We used cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), known to inhibit neuronal excitability, over the cerebellum to investigate if cathodal tDCS impairs verbal working memory, an important higher-order cognitive faculty. Method: We tested verbal working memory as measured by forward and backward digit spans in 40 healthy young participants before and after applying cathodal tDCS (2 mA, stimulation duration 25 min) to the right cerebellum using a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind, cross-over design. In addition, we tested the effect of cerebellar tDCS on word reading, finger tapping and a visually cued sensorimotor task. Results: In line with lower digit spans in patients with cerebellar lesions, cerebellar tDCS reduced forward digit spans and blocked the practice dependent increase in backward digit spans. No effects of tDCS on word reading, finger tapping or the visually cued sensorimotor task were found. Conclusion: Our results support the view that the cerebellum contributes to verbal working memory as measured by forward and backward digit spans. Moreover, the induction of reversible "virtual cerebellar lesions" in healthy individuals by means of tDCS may improve our understanding of the mechanistic basis of verbal working memory deficits in patients with cerebellar lesions. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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