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Author: Imke Puls (23)


Dec
2016

The dopamine transporter (DAT) plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal dopamine signaling. DAT-overactivity has been linked to various neuropsychiatric disorders yet so far the direct pathological consequences of it has not been fully assessed. We here generated a transgenic rat model that via pronuclear microinjection overexpresses the DAT gene.

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Dec
1969

Despite extensive research in the past decades, the influence of genetics on cognitive functions in schizophrenia remains unclear. Dystrobrevin-binding protein 1 (DTNBP1) is one of the most promising candidate genes in schizophrenia. An association of DTNBP1 with cognitive dysfunction, particularly memory impairment, has been reported in a number of studies.

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May
2015

Although sarcoidosis and celiac disease are both chronic immunologic disorders involving multiple organ systems, reports about association of diseases in individual patients are sparse. While sarcoidosis is a chronic granulomatous disease presumably reflecting an exaggerated response to an unknown antigen, celiac disease is a T cell-driven disease triggered by ingestion of gluten, a protein composite found in wheat and related grains.
We present three cases with a longstanding history of sarcoidosis that have been additionally diagnosed with celiac-like enteropathy.

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Dec
1969

Alcohol dependence is a common severe psychiatric disorder with a multifactorial etiology. Since the completion of the human genome project and with the increased availability of high-throughput genotyping, multiple genetic risk factors for substance-related disorders, including alcohol dependence, have been identified, but not all results could be replicated.
We systematically review the clinical literature on genetic risk factors for alcohol dependence and alcohol-related phenotypes, including candidate gene-based studies, linkage studies and genome-wide association studies (GWAS).

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Dec
1969

The nicotinic system is involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. However, very little is known about its genetic basis and how it relates to clinical symptoms and potentially pharmacological intervention. Here, we investigated five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) [rs3826029] [rs2337506] [rs982574] [rs904952] [rs2337980] of the cholinergic nicotinic receptor gene, alpha 7 subunit (CHRNA7) and their association to schizophrenia.

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Mar
2012

Our pilot study evaluates the impact of environmental factors, such as nutrition and smoking status, on epigenetic patterns in a disease-associated gene.
We measured the effects of malnutrition and cigarette smoking on proopiomelanocortin (POMC) promoter-specific DNA methylation in female patients with and without anorexia nervosa (AN). POMC and its derived peptides (alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone and adrenocorticotropic hormone) are implicated in stress and feeding response.

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May
2010

Antipsychotic-induced weight gain has emerged as a serious complication in the treatment of patients with atypical antipsychotic drugs. The cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) is expressed centrally in the hypothalamic region and associated with appetite and satiety, as well as peripherally. An antagonist of CNR1 (rimonabant) has been effective in causing weight loss in obese patients indicating that CNR1 might be important in antipsychotic-induced weight gain.

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Aug
2009

In major depression, prefrontal regulation of limbic brain areas may be a key mechanism that is impaired during the processing of affective information. This prefrontal-limbic interaction has been shown to be modulated by serotonin (5-HTT) genotype, indicating a higher risk for major depressive disorder (MDD) with increasing number of 5-HTT low-expression alleles.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess neural response to uncued unpleasant affective pictures in 21 unmedicated patients with MDD compared to 21 matched healthy controls, taking into account genetic influences of the 5-HTT (SCL6A4) high- and low-expression genotype.

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Jul
2009

The number of studies on imaging genetics has risen considerably over the last few years, and haplotypes are being increasingly applied as a model to increase the explained variance in functional brain activation. Haplotypes, however, are not always the preferable approach. While such highly complex models have a greater capacity for fitting data, they might also lead to over-fitting.

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Oct
2008

Reward processing depends critically on dopaminergic neurotransmission in the ventral striatum. The common polymorphism val(158)met of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) accounts for significant interindividual variations in dopamine (DA) degradation, although the direct effect of COMT on striatal DA might be limited. Using fMRI we assessed the influence of COMT val(158)met genotype on brain activations elicited by the anticipation of monetary gains and losses in forty-four healthy volunteers.

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Dec
1969

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder, where family, twin and adoption studies have been demonstrating a high heritability of the disease and that this disease is not simply defined by several major genes but rather evolves from addition or potentiation of a specific cluster of genes, which subsequently determines the genetic vulnerability of an individual. Linkage and association studies suggest that a genetic vulnerablility, is not forcefully leading to the disease since triggering factors and environmental influences, i.e.

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Mar
2006

Identification of gene-environment and gene-gene interactions has become increasingly important in understanding psychiatric disorders. Dysfunction of central serotonergic neurotransmission has been implicated in alcoholism, depression, and anxiety. We review the literature on nonhuman primates that assesses the interaction between the genetic constitution of the regulatory region ofthe serotonin transporter (5-HTT) and environmental factors.

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Feb
2006

The microtubule motor cytoplasmic dynein and its activator dynactin drive vesicular transport and mitotic spindle organization. Dynactin is ubiquitously expressed in eukaryotes, but a G59S mutation in the p150Glued subunit of dynactin results in the specific degeneration of motor neurons. This mutation in the conserved cytoskeleton-associated protein, glycine-rich (CAP-Gly) domain lowers the affinity of p150Glued for microtubules and EB1.

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Oct
2005

We describe clinical, electrophysiological, histopathological and molecular features of a unique disease caused by mutations in the glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GARS) gene. Sixty patients from five multigenerational families have been evaluated. The disease is characterized by adolescent onset of weakness, and atrophy of thenar and first dorsal interosseus muscles progressing to involve foot and peroneal muscles in most but not all cases.

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May
2005

Impaired axonal transport has been postulated to play a role in the pathophysiology of multiple neurodegenerative disorders. In this report, we describe the results of clinical and neuropathological studies in a family with an inherited form of motor neuron disease caused by mutation in the p150Glued subunit of dynactin, a microtubule motor protein essential for retrograde axonal transport. Affected family members had a distinct clinical phenotype characterized by early bilateral vocal fold paralysis affecting the adductor and abductor laryngeal muscles.

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Jan
2005

Major depression is conditionally linked to a polymorphism of the human serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4). During the presentation of aversive, but not pleasant, pictures, healthy carriers of the SLC6A4 short (s) allele showed stronger activation of the amygdala on functional magnetic resonance imaging. s carriers also showed greater coupling between the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which may contribute to the abnormally high activity in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex seen in major depression.

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Sep
2004

Brain imaging studies with PET, SPECT, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and spectroscopy provide evidence of prefrontal dysfunction in schizophrenia. Dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive impairment and negative symptoms. Combined multimodal imaging shows that a developmentally early disturbance of frontotemporal-limbic neuronal networks is associated with a disinhibition of subcortical dopaminergic neurotransmission.

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Aug
2004

Alcohol dependence is characterized by the development of tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and craving for alcohol. Chronic alcohol consumption causes neuroadaptive changes in the central dopaminergic and serotonergic system, which are partially reversible after detoxification. The severity and time-course of recovery of these neuroadaptive changes may depend on the genetic constitution of monoamine transporters and receptors and contribute to the relapse risk of alcoholics.

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Jun
2004

Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4) is a rare autosomal dominant form of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) characterized by distal muscle weakness and atrophy, normal sensation, and pyramidal signs. Individuals affected with ALS4 usually have an onset of symptoms at age <25 years, a slow rate of progression, and a normal life span. The ALS4 locus maps to a 1.

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May
2003

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2D (CMT2D) and distal spinal muscular atrophy type V (dSMA-V) are axonal peripheral neuropathies inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion. Our previous genetic and physical mapping efforts localized the responsible gene(s) to a well-defined region on human chromosome 7p. Here, we report the identification of four disease-associated missense mutations in the glycyl tRNA synthetase gene in families with CMT2D and dSMA-V.

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Apr
2003

Impaired axonal transport in motor neurons has been proposed as a mechanism for neuronal degeneration in motor neuron disease. Here we show linkage of a lower motor neuron disease to a region of 4 Mb at chromosome 2p13. Mutation analysis of a gene in this interval that encodes the largest subunit of the axonal transport protein dynactin showed a single base-pair change resulting in an amino-acid substitution that is predicted to distort the folding of dynactin's microtubule-binding domain.

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Apr
2003

Conventional duplex sonography is a well-established method for the assessment of the brain-supplying arteries in acute stroke. However, ultrasound (US) remains inconclusive in a significant number of stroke patients. Recently, two new US parameters, the cerebral transit time (cTT) and the global cerebral blood flow volume (CBF), have been introduced.

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