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Author: Fabiana M Carvalho (11)


Dec
2017

Nociceptin is a key regulator linking environmental stress and alcohol drinking. In a genome-wide methylation analysis, we recently identified an association of a methylated region in the OPRL1 gene with alcohol-use disorders.
Here, we investigate the biological basis of this observation by analysing psychosocial stressors, methylation of the OPRL1 gene, brain response during reward anticipation and alcohol drinking in 660 fourteen-year-old adolescents of the IMAGEN study.

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Dec
1969

Variations in genes encoding several GABAreceptors have been associated with human drug and alcohol abuse. Among these, a number of human studies have suggested an association between, the gene encoding GABAreceptor β1 subunits, with Alcohol dependence (AD), both on its own and comorbid with other substance dependence and psychiatric illnesses. In the present study, we hypothesized that thegenetically-associated increased risk for developing alcoholism may be associated with impaired behavioral control and altered sensitivity to reward, as a consequence of altered brain function.

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Sep
2016

Trypsin inhibitors are studied in a variety of models for their anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory bioactive properties. Our group has previously demonstrated the satietogenic effect of tamarind seed trypsin inhibitors (TTI) in eutrophic mouse models and anti-inflammatory effects of other trypsin inhibitors. In this study, we evaluated TTI effect upon satiety, biochemical and inflammatory parameters in an experimental model of metabolic syndrome (MetS).

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Dec
1969

The updating of prospective internal models is necessary to accurately predict future observations. Uncertainty-driven internal model updating has been studied using a variety of perceptual paradigms, and have revealed engagement of frontal and parietal areas. In a distinct literature, studies on temporal expectations have also characterized a time-perception network, which relies on temporal orienting of attention.

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Dec
1969

Impulsivity is associated with a spectrum of psychiatric disorders including drug addiction. To investigate genetic associations with impulsivity and initiation of drug taking, we took a two-step approach. First, we identified genes whose expression level in prefrontal cortex, striatum and accumbens were associated with impulsive behavior in the 5-choice serial reaction time task across 10 BXD recombinant inbred (BXD RI) mouse strains and their progenitor C57BL/6J and DBA2/J strains.

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Jun
2015

The genetic component of alcohol use disorder is substantial, but monozygotic twin discordance indicates a role for nonheritable differences that could be mediated by epigenetics. Despite growing evidence associating epigenetics and psychiatric disorders, it is unclear how epigenetics, particularly DNA methylation, relate to brain function and behavior, including drinking behavior.
The authors carried out a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation of 18 monozygotic twin pairs discordant for alcohol use disorder and validated differentially methylated regions.

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Aug
2014

A comprehensive account of the causes of alcohol misuse must accommodate individual differences in biology, psychology and environment, and must disentangle cause and effect. Animal models can demonstrate the effects of neurotoxic substances; however, they provide limited insight into the psycho-social and higher cognitive factors involved in the initiation of substance use and progression to misuse. One can search for pre-existing risk factors by testing for endophenotypic biomarkers in non-using relatives; however, these relatives may have personality or neural resilience factors that protect them from developing dependence.

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Sep
2014

Common variants in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) have been shown to influence social and affective behavior and to moderate the effect of adverse experiences on risk for social-affective problems. However, the intermediate neurobiological mechanisms are not fully understood. Although human functional neuroimaging studies have reported that oxytocin effects on social behavior and emotional states are mediated by amygdala function, animal models indicate that oxytocin receptors in the ventral striatum (VS) modulate sensitivity to social reinforcers.

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Nov
2012

The hallucinogenic brew Ayahuasca, a rich source of serotonergic agonists and reuptake inhibitors, has been used for ages by Amazonian populations during religious ceremonies. Among all perceptual changes induced by Ayahuasca, the most remarkable are vivid "seeings." During such seeings, users report potent imagery.

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Jun
2007

The effects of chronic ethanol and thiamine deficiency, alone or associated, on hippocampal protein phosphorylation profiles ranging in molecular weight from 30 to 250kDa molecular weight, in stimulated (high K(+) concentration) and unstimulated (basal) conditions were investigated. These treatments significantly changed the phosphorylation level of an 86kDa phosphoprotein. Thiamine deficiency, but not chronic ethanol, induced a decrease in a behavioural extinction index, which is significantly correlated to the phosphorylation level of the p86 protein.

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Apr
2006

Using an animal model of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, in which rats were submitted to a chronic ethanol treatment with or without a thiamine deficiency episode, the glutamate uptake in the prefrontal cortex and spatial memory aspects were studied. It was found that (i) thiamine deficiency, but not chronic ethanol consumption, induced a significant decrease of glutamate uptake; (ii) thiamine-deficient subjects showed an impaired performance in the water maze spatial memory test though these animals were able to learn the task during the acquisition. In spite of the fact that thiamine deficiency affects both glutamate uptake and spatial reference memory, there was no significant correlation between these two data.

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