Star-shaped cells called astrocytes are the most abundant cells to be found in the human brain. In the past, they’d been thought to play a supporting role to neurons, such as providing metabolic support, but recently they’re also emerging as stars of information processing. They can respond to neurotransmitters and release neuroactive substances that then affect synaptic transmission and plasticity. Michelle Corkrum is a child neurology resident at Columbia University and is one of the authors of a recent review paper on the links between astrocytes and dopamine signalling. The review looks back at the history of research in this field, going back decades. Listen in to learn more!
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Mais episódios de "Neuropsychopharmacology Podcast"
Astrocyte-neuron signaling in the mesolimbic dopamine system: the hidden stars of dopamine signaling
9:43Star-shaped cells called astrocytes are the most abundant cells to be found in the human brain. In the past, they’d been thought to play a supporting role to neurons, such as providing metabolic support, but recently they’re also emerging as stars of information processing. They can respond to neurotransmitters and release neuroactive substances that then affect synaptic transmission and plasticity. Michelle Corkrum is a child neurology resident at Columbia University and is one of the authors of a recent review paper on the links between astrocytes and dopamine signalling. The review looks back at the history of research in this field, going back decades. Listen in to learn more! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Neurobiology of loneliness: a systematic review
8:11Loneliness is a subjective experience, but neuroscientists define it as a distress that arrives from a discrepancy between perceived and desired social relationships. There may be an evolutionary benefit to the feeling of loneliness; we’re a social species, and feeling lonely might have sent us to seek out other humans, which has been very important for survival. Moreover, if gone unaddressed and isolation worsens, health effects of loneliness have been shown to double mortality rates. It's linked to cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cognitive decline, higher rates of dementia, and poor mental health outcomes (i.e. depression and anxiety).With loneliness implicated in so many cognitive impacts, Dr. Lee and her colleagues wanted to understand what is known to date about the impact of loneliness on the brain. They conducted a systematic review of the published research that examines loneliness and resulting neurobiological assessments, such as imaging studies, EEG studies, and pathological studies. Listen in and read to learn more! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Medial orbitofrontal cortex dopamine D1/D2 receptors differentially modulate distinct forms of probabilistic decision-making
8:58It’s known that dopamine transmission in the brain, particularly in the frontal lobes, can affect decision-making and can regulate choices when it comes to actions and rewards. But the effect of dopamine transition in the medial orbital frontal cortex hasn’t yet been studied, and dysfunction in that region has been implicated in a variety of mental illnesses, including obsessive compulsive disorder, certain kinds of depression, and even schizophrenia. And so a team of researchers led by Stan Floresco, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, used a rat model to study the effects of dopamine on two receptors in the region, D1 and D2. To do so, they trained the rats on two games that involved decision-making, and then they infused drugs, one an agonist and one an antagonist, to the brain region. Have a listen! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Addiction as a brain disease revised: why it still matters, and the need for consilience
9:54Nearly 25 years ago, a paper was published about addiction that transformed the field. The director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse at the time called addiction a “brain disease,” and he wrote a paper articulating this position and the agenda that it implied. It led to a focus on researching the brain to understand the mechanisms behind addiction, which could lead to novel treatments. And it meant that the country began to treat addiction as a disease, thus treating it within the medical system and removing the victim-blaming stigma. Over the years, there has been a pushback against the view of addiction as a brain disease, even within the scientific community. In part, this occurred because research in neuroscience didn’t lead to effective treatments as quickly as the field hoped or promised. And in part, says Markus Heilig, it’s because other researchers felt that funding into the neuroscience of addition meant that other relevant mechanisms, such as social and psychological factors, were perhaps being somewhat neglected. Dr. Heilig and his colleagues recently published a review addressing these and other concerns. Listen in to learn more! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Big data in psychiatry: multiomics, neuroimaging, computational modeling, and digital phenotyping
9:51The world of medicine has been changing rapidly due to the increasing use of ‘big data.’ And there’s been a major revolution in this approach in neuroscience and psychiatry as well: computing power, sample sizes, neuroimaging technologies, digital approaches to phenotyping, and computational modeling all are already starting to unleash dramatic new understandings of the brain, as well as new approaches to treatment. And so the journal Neuropsychopharmacology recently published a Reviews issue on the topic of Big Data. Kerry Ressler, chief scientific officer at McLean hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard medical school, is one of the editors. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Acute dose-dependent effects of lysergic acid diethylamide in a double-blind placebo-controlled study in healthy subjects
9:44Interest is growing in the use of the psychedelic drug LSD for psychiatric research and even potentially for treatment. But placebo-controlled studies conducted to date have used just one dose of the drug—none have investigated the impacts of a variety of dosages within the same subjects. In addition, past studies did not use pharmaceutically-defined dosages of LSD, which has made verifying the effects of a particular dose difficult. To address this gap, Matthias Liechti, professor in the department of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Basel in Switzerland, and his colleagues conducted a study. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Big behavior: challenges and opportunities in a new era of deep behavior profiling
9:31Scientists who study neuropsychiatric conditions and treatments often use rodent models to do so. From depression to anxiety to memory impairment and impulsivity, there are certain rodent behaviors that are used to represent these types of conditions in humans. And to use these models, researchers have had to watch the animals live or on video and jot down every instance of, say, exploratory behavior. As the process is labor intensive and results vary slightly from researcher to researcher, Dr. Bohacheck and his colleagues created a new system based on machine learning, and they published the results of their study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, along with a review of the field. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Leveraging large genomic datasets to illuminate the pathobiology of autism spectrum disorders
9:49The application of the study of genetics and the use of big data to identify patterns of inheritance as well as de novo mutations has had a dramatic impact on the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder research, and it offers pathways to a greater understanding of biological mechanisms, even potentially treatments. Matthew State, chair of the department of psychiatry at University of California San Francisco, and his colleagues wrote a review paper in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, called “Leveraging large genomic datasets to illuminate the pathobiology of autism spectrum disorders.” Have a listen to learn more! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Pubertal adversity alters chromatin dynamics and stress circuitry in the pregnant brain
9:28It’s understood in epidemiological research that women who experience trauma during puberty are at significantly higher risk for affective disorders such as depression and anxiety when they become pregnant. And so Tracy Bale, a professor in the departments of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, has done several studies using mice to try to model and understand this effect. In her latest paper in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, she and her colleagues set out to study just what was happening to make the mouse brain so vulnerable to stress and trauma during puberty, and how this was activated during the hormonal onslaught of pregnancy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Social networking and mental health: looking beyond frequency of use and towards mechanisms of action
9:32Over the past decades, there’s clearly been a dramatic increase in the amount of time people spend online using social networking sites. For instance, Facebook and Instagram have literally billions of users. At the same time, there’s been a rise in mental health issues for young people from teens through their mid 20s. The rise in these issues has been seen particularly for Millennials and the I generation, both of which grew up with increased access to and use of social networking sites. As a result, some have drawn the conclusion that perhaps the two are linked, and the rise in mental health issues is linked causally to the increase in time spent online, and so treatment should involve reducing social networking use. Dr. Kiara Timpano, associate professor at the University of Miami department of psychology, and Dr. Courtney Beard, co-director of the clinical research program in behavioral health at McLean Hospital and associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, reviewed the literature. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.