Epigenetics and biomarkers in the staging of neuropsychiatric disorders.
ABSTRACT Epigenetics, or alterations in the phenotype or gene expression due to mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence, reflects the sensitivity and responsiveness of human and animal brains in constantly varying circumstances regulating gene expression profiles that define the biomarkers and present the ultimate phenotypical outcomes, such as cognition and emotion. Epigenetics is associated with functionally relevant alterations to the genome in such a fashion that under the particular conditions of early, adolescent, and adult life, environmental signals may activate intracellular pathways that remodel the "epigenome," triggering changes in gene expression and neural function. Thus, genetic influences in neuropsychiatric disorders that are subject to clinical staging, epigenetics in schizophrenia, epigenetic considerations in the expression of sensorimotor gating resulting from disease conditions, biomarkers of drug use and addiction, current notions on the role of dopamine in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and the discrete interactions of biomarkers in persistent memory were to greater or lesser extents reflected upon. The relative contributions of endophenotypes and epistasis for mediating epigenetic phenomena and the outcomes as observed in the analysis of biomarkers appear to offer a multitude of interactive combinations to further complicate the labyrinthine machinations of diagnosis, intervention, and prognosis.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to examine high school adolescent pupils’ self-regulatory strategies in relation to psychological well-being and subjective well-being (i.e., temporal life satisfaction and affect) using the affective profiles model as the backdrop for the analysis. Participants were categorized into Self-fulfilling (high positive, low negative), High affective (high positive, high negative), Low affective (low positive, low negative) and Self-destructive (low positive, high negative) profiles according to their responses on the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule. The participants also self-reported self-regulation (“assessment” and “locomotion”), temporal life satisfaction (past, present and future) and psychological well-being (e.g. Self-acceptance, environmental mastery, personal growth). Self-fulfilling adolescents, in contrast to Self-destructive adolescents, expressed high levels of temporal life satisfaction and psychological well-being. The self-regulatory “locomotion” dimension was associated to high positive affect profiles, higher life satisfaction and psychological well-being whereas the self-regulatory “assessment” dimension was associated with high negative affect profiles, lesser life satisfaction and psychological well-being. Taken together, the well-being outcomes linked to the “locomotion” dimension seem to contribute to an upward ‘spiral of empowerment’, reinforcing approaching or agentic behavior; while the outcome linked to the “assessment” dimension appear to consist of a downward ‘spiral of disempowerment’ or inaction.
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ABSTRACT: Adverse, unfavourable life conditions, particularly during early life stages and infancy, can lead to epigenetic regulation of genes involved in stress-response, behavioral disinhibition, and cognitive-emotional systems. Over time, the ultimate final outcome can be expressed through behaviors bedeviled by problems with impulse control, such as eating disorders, alcoholism, and indiscriminate social behavior. While many reward gene polymorphisms are involved in impulsive behaviors, a polymorphism by itself may not translate to the development of a particular behavioral disorder unless it is impacted by epigenetic effects. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) affects the development and integrity of the noradrenergic, dopaminergic, serotonergic, glutamatergic, and cholinergic neurotransmitter systems, and plasma levels of the neurotrophin are associated with both cognitive and aggressive impulsiveness. Epigenetic mechanisms associated with a multitude of environmental factors, including premature birth, low birth weight, prenatal tobacco exposure, non-intact family, young maternal age at birth of the target child, paternal history of antisocial behavior, and maternal depression, alter the developmental trajectories for several neuropsychiatric disorders. These mechanisms affect brain development and integrity at several levels that determine structure and function in resolving the final behavioral expressions.05/2012; 3(3):1000115. DOI:10.4172/2157-7412.1000115
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ABSTRACT: Regular physical exercise/activity has been shown repeatedly to promote positive benefits in cognitive, emotional and motor domains concomitant with reductions in distress and negative affect. It exerts a preventative role in anxiety and depressive states and facilitates psychological well-being in both adolescents and adults. Not least, several meta-analyses attest to improvements brought about by exercise. In the present treatise, the beneficial effects of exercise upon cognitive, executive function and working memory, emotional, self-esteem and depressed mood, motivational, anhedonia and psychomotor retardation, and somatic/physical, sleep disturbances and chronic aches and pains, categories of depression are discussed. Concurrently, the amelioration of several biomarkers associated with depressive states: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis homeostasis, anti-neurodegenerative effects, monoamine metabolism regulation and neuroimmune functioning. The notion that physical exercise may function as "scaffolding" that buttresses available network circuits, anti-inflammatory defences and neuroreparative processes, e.g. brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), holds a certain appeal.CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders) 11/2014; 13(10). · 2.70 Impact Factor