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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Considerations on the role of buprenorphine in recovery from heroin addiction from a UK perspective.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 11-13-2014
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The United Kingdom Drug Strategy emphasises recovery as a key focus in the treatment of drug dependence. A framework for recovery is defined in the Recovery-Orientated Drug Treatment report, written by an expert working group, and comprises four key phases: engagement and stabilisation, including the establishment of treatment goals; preparation for change, involving engagement in psychosocial and pharmacological interventions; active change, including detoxification and medical withdrawal; and completion, including interventions that strengthen community integration. A body of evidence supports the benefits of buprenorphine, a partial agonist at mu opioid receptors, in supporting individualised recovery based on this framework, specifically in relation to the potential for rapid stabilisation, flexibility to transition to other treatment options or achieve abstinence, effective blocking of on-top use of illicit drugs, the treatment of comorbidities through the minimisation of drug-drug interactions, and a good safety profile. In addition, the newer abuse-deterrent formulation of buprenorphine combined with the opioid antagonist naloxone is likely to strengthen recovery-orientated systems of care due to its potential to reduce misuse and diversion. Progress through the recovery journey and the ability to sustain recovery will depend on individual needs and goals and on the amount of recovery capital that individuals have developed.
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Influence of agonist induced internalization on [(3) H]Ro15-4513 binding-an application to imaging fluctuations in endogenous GABA with positron emission tomography.
Synapse
PUBLISHED: 06-11-2014
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Low affinity ?1/?2 containing GABAA receptors are significantly less able to bind [(11) C]/[(3) H]Ro15-4513 following translocation to the endosomal environment. The alterations in [(11) C]Ro15-4513 binding observed in vivo following perturbations in endogenous GABA are likely driven by both alterations in receptor binding parameters following agonist induced internalisation and the GABA Shift.
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Amphetamine induced endogenous opioid release in the human brain detected with [11C]carfentanil PET: replication in an independent cohort.
Int. J. Neuropsychopharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2014
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This study aimed to replicate a previous study which showed that endogenous opioid release, following an oral dose of amphetamine, can be detected in the living human brain using [11C]carfentanil positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Nine healthy volunteers underwent two [11C]carfentanil PET scans, one before and one 3 h following oral amphetamine administration (0.5 mg/kg). Regional changes in [11C]carfentanil BPND from pre- to post-amphetamine were assessed. The amphetamine challenge led to significant reductions in [11C]carfentanil BPND in the putamen, thalamus, frontal lobe, nucleus accumbens, anterior cingulate, cerebellum and insula cortices, replicating our earlier findings. None of the participants experienced significant euphoria/'high', supporting the use of oral amphetamine to characterize in vivo endogenous opioid release following a pharmacological challenge. [11C]carfentanil PET is able to detect changes in binding following an oral amphetamine challenge that reflects endogenous opioid release and is suitable to characterize the opioid system in neuropsychiatric disorders.
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Differences between magnetoencephalographic (MEG) spectral profiles of drugs acting on GABA at synaptic and extrasynaptic sites: A study in healthy volunteers.
Neuropharmacology
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2014
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A range of medications target different aspects of the GABA system; understanding their effects is important to inform further drug development. Effects on the waking EEG comparing these mechanisms have not been reported; in this study we compare the effects on resting MEG spectra of the benzodiazepine receptor agonist zolpidem, the delta sub-unit selective agonist gaboxadol (also known as THIP) and the GABA reuptake inhibitor tiagabine. These were two randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover studies in healthy volunteers, one using zolpidem 10 mg, gaboxadol 15 mg and placebo, and the other tiagabine 15 mg and placebo. Whole head MEG recordings and individual MEG spectra were divided into frequency bands. Baseline spectra were subtracted from each post-intervention spectra and then differences between intervention and placebo compared. After zolpidem there were significant increases in beta frequencies and reduction in alpha frequency power; after gaboxadol and tiagabine there were significant increases in power at all frequencies up to beta. Enhancement of tonic inhibition via extrasynaptic receptors by gaboxadol gives rise to a very different MEG signature from the synaptic action of zolpidem. Tiagabine theoretically can affect both types of receptor; from these MEG results it is likely that the latter is the more prominent effect here. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'GABAergic signaling'.
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Evidence-based pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder: a revision of the 2005 guidelines from the British Association for Psychopharmacology.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2014
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This revision of the 2005 British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines for the evidence-based pharmacological treatment of anxiety disorders provides an update on key steps in diagnosis and clinical management, including recognition, acute treatment, longer-term treatment, combination treatment, and further approaches for patients who have not responded to first-line interventions. A consensus meeting involving international experts in anxiety disorders reviewed the main subject areas and considered the strength of supporting evidence and its clinical implications. The guidelines are based on available evidence, were constructed after extensive feedback from participants, and are presented as recommendations to aid clinical decision-making in primary, secondary and tertiary medical care. They may also serve as a source of information for patients, their carers, and medicines management and formulary committees.
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Evaluation of 11C-BU99008, a PET ligand for the imidazoline2 binding sites in rhesus brain.
J. Nucl. Med.
PUBLISHED: 04-07-2014
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The development of a PET radioligand selective for I2-imidazoline binding sites (I2BS) would enable, for the first time, specific, measurable in vivo imaging of this target protein, along with assessment of alterations in expression patterns of this protein in disease pathophysiology.
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Where now for schizophrenia research?
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2014
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Schizophrenia continues to pose a serious challenge to neuroscience and psychiatry as well as to health care systems and to the patients and families who suffer this terrible and disabling illness. Major developments in the past few months in both genetics and drug development oblige us to consider novel drug discovery tactics for future schizophrenia research. Here we review what we consider to be the key issues and some suggested solutions.
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Pharmacology should be at the centre of all preclinical and clinical studies on new psychoactive substances (recreational drugs).
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2014
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Despite the publication of a substantial body of preclinical and clinical information on recent recreational drugs such as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') and cathinone compounds such as mephedrone there remains a disturbing lack of consensus as to how dangerous these compounds are to the health of the individual and to society in general. This perspective proposes that use of good pharmacological practice should be mandatory in all preclinical and clinical studies. Its use will assist both translation and reverse translation of information produced in animals and clinical subjects. We propose several basic rules to be followed in all future studies. Preclinical studies should employ pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic integration thereby exposing animals to known or calculable drug concentrations. This will provide results relevant to pharmacology rather than toxicology and, crucially, data relevant to human drug use. Full experimental detail should be routinely provided, to allow comparison with other similar work. In clinical studies evidence should be provided that the drug under investigation has been ingested by the subjects being examined, and details given of all other drugs being ingested. Drug-drug interactions are an unavoidable confound but studies of a size that allows reliable statistical evaluation and preferably allows sub-group analysis, particularly by using meta-analysis, should help with this problem. This may require greater collaboration between investigative groups, as routinely occurs during pharmaceutical clinical trials. Other proposals include greater integration of preclinical and clinical scientists in both preclinical and clinical studies and changes in the law regarding Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) sourcing of drug for human studies.
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Are multiple physical symptoms a poor prognostic factor or just a marker of depression severity? Secondary analysis of the GenPod trial.
J Affect Disord
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2014
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Using data from the GenPod trial this study investigates: (i) if depressed individuals with multiple physical symptoms have a poorer response to antidepressants before and after adjustment for baseline Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II); and (ii) if reboxetine is more effective than citalopram in depression with multiple physical symptoms.
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A proposal for an updated neuropsychopharmacological nomenclature.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2014
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Current psychopharmacological nomenclature remains wedded in an earlier period of scientific understanding, failing to reflect contemporary developments and knowledge, does not aid clinicians in selecting the best medication for a given patient, and tends to confuse patients by prescribing a drug that does not reflect their identified diagnosis (e.g. prescribe "antipsychotics" to depression). Four major colleges of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP, ACNP, Asian CNP, and CINP) proposed a new template comprising a multi-axial pharmacologically-driven nomenclature tested by four surveys. The template has five axes: 1-class (primary pharmacological target and relevant mechanism); 2-family (reflecting the relevant neurotransmitter and mechanism); 3-neurobiological activities; 4-efficacy and major side effects; and 5-approved indications. The results of the surveys suggest that the clinicians found the available indication-based nomenclature system dissatisfactory, non-intuitive, confusing, and doubt-inducing for them and the patients. The proposed five-axis template seeks to upend current usage by placing pharmacology rather than indication as the primary axes, with the proposed nomenclature relating primarily to Axis 1-the class, and usage of the other axes would largely depend upon the extent to which the clinician seeks to deepen the scientific and clinical base of his involvement. A significant proportion of the participants in the four surveys were in favour of the proposed system, a similar number wanted to consider the idea further, and only a small proportion (8.6%) were against it. The proposed five-axis pharmacology based nomenclature template is a system which might refresh and reflect the current scientific concepts of neuropsychopharmacology.
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Imaging endogenous opioid peptide release with [11C]carfentanil and [3H]diprenorphine: influence of agonist-induced internalization.
J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab.
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2014
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Understanding the cellular processes underpinning the changes in binding observed during positron emission tomography neurotransmitter release studies may aid translation of these methodologies to other neurotransmitter systems. We compared the sensitivities of opioid receptor radioligands, carfentanil, and diprenorphine, to amphetamine-induced endogenous opioid peptide (EOP) release and methadone administration in the rat. We also investigated whether agonist-induced internalization was involved in reductions in observed binding using subcellular fractionation and confocal microscopy. After radioligand administration, significant reductions in [(11)C]carfentanil, but not [(3)H]diprenorphine, uptake were observed after methadone and amphetamine pretreatment. Subcellular fractionation and in vitro radioligand binding studies showed that amphetamine pretreatment only decreased total [(11)C]carfentanil binding. In vitro saturation binding studies conducted in buffers representative of the internalization pathway suggested that ?-receptors are significantly less able to bind the radioligands in endosomal compared with extracellular compartments. Finally, a significant increase in ?-receptor-early endosome co-localization in the hypothalamus was observed after amphetamine and methadone treatment using double-labeling confocal microscopy, with no changes in ?- or ?-receptor co-localization. These data indicate carfentanil may be superior to diprenorphine when imaging EOP release in vivo, and that alterations in the ability to bind internalized receptors may be a predictor of ligand sensitivity to endogenous neurotransmitter release.
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Acute increases in synaptic GABA detectable in the living human brain: a [¹¹C]Ro15-4513 PET study.
Neuroimage
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2014
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The inhibitory ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter system is associated with the regulation of normal cognitive functions and dysregulation has been reported in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and addictions. Investigating the role of GABA in both health and disease has been constrained by difficulties in measuring acute changes in synaptic GABA using neurochemical imaging. The aim of this study was to investigate whether acute increases in synaptic GABA are detectable in the living human brain using the inverse agonist GABA-benzodiazepine receptor (GABA-BZR) positron emission tomography (PET) tracer, [(11)C]Ro15-4513. We examined the effect of 15 mg oral tiagabine, which increases synaptic GABA by inhibiting the GAT1 GABA uptake transporter, on [(11)C]Ro15-4513 binding in 12 male participants using a paired, double blind, placebo-controlled protocol. Spectral analysis was used to examine synaptic ?1 and extrasynaptic ?5 GABA-BZR subtype availability in brain regions with high levels of [(11)C]Ro15-4513 binding. We also examined the test-retest reliability of ?1 and a5-specific [(11)C]Ro15-4513 binding in a separate cohort of 4 participants using the same spectral analysis protocol. Tiagabine administration produced significant reductions in hippocampal, parahippocampal, amygdala and anterior cingulate synaptic ?1 [(11)C]Ro15-4513 binding, and a trend significance reduction in the nucleus accumbens. These reductions were greater than test-retest reliability, indicating that they are not the result of chance observations. Our results suggest that acute increases in endogenous synaptic GABA are detectable in the living human brain using [(11)C]Ro15-4513 PET. These findings have potentially major implications for the investigation of GABA function in brain disorders and in the development of new treatments targeting this neurotransmitter system.
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Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: update on recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2014
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common condition with a high societal burden. The present guidelines summarise current literature, generating expert consensus recommendations for the treatment of ADHD in children and adults. These guidelines also provide a review of recent research in the fields of neuroimaging, neuropsychology and genetics of ADHD. Novel discoveries in these areas have informed physiological models for the disease. Since the publication of the previous British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines in 2008, new drugs have been licensed and further compounds are being investigated. The publication of randomised controlled trials of psychological interventions has contributed to the range of treatment options for ADHD. As the disorder has been diagnosed more frequently there has been greater focus on comorbid conditions and how they impact treatment. Services have continued to develop for the treatment of ADHD in adults and care agreements have been introduced to facilitate access to treatment.
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Estimating the harms of nicotine-containing products using the MCDA approach.
Eur Addict Res
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2014
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An international expert panel convened by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs developed a multi-criteria decision analysis model of the relative importance of different types of harm related to the use of nicotine-containing products.
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Determination of [(11)C]PBR28 binding potential in vivo: a first human TSPO blocking study.
J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab.
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2014
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Positron emission tomography (PET) targeting the 18?kDa translocator protein (TSPO) is used to quantify neuroinflammation. Translocator protein is expressed throughout the brain, and therefore a classical reference region approach cannot be used to estimate binding potential (BPND). Here, we used blockade of the TSPO radioligand [(11)C]PBR28 with the TSPO ligand XBD173, to determine the non-displaceable volume of distribution (VND), and hence estimate the BPND. A total of 26 healthy volunteers, 16 high-affinity binders (HABs) and 10 mixed affinity binders (MABs) underwent a [(11)C]PBR28 PET scan with arterial sampling. Six of the HABs received oral XBD173 (10 to 90?mg), 2?hours before a repeat scan. In XBD173-dosed subjects, VND was estimated via the occupancy plot. Values of BPND for all subjects were calculated using this VND estimate. Total volume of distribution (VT) of MABs (2.94±0.31) was lower than VT of HABs (4.33±0.29) (P<0.005). There was dose-dependent occupancy of TSPO by XBD173 (ED50=0.34±0.13?mg/kg). The occupancy plot provided a VND estimate of 1.98 (1.69, 2.26). Based on these VND estimates, BPND for HABs is approximately twice that of MABs, consistent with predictions from in vitro data. Our estimates of [(11)C]PBR28 VND and hence BPND in the healthy human brain are consistent with in vitro predictions. XBD173 blockade provides a practical means of estimating VND for TSPO targeting radioligands.
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In vivo imaging of cerebral dopamine D3 receptors in alcoholism.
Neuropsychopharmacology
PUBLISHED: 01-28-2014
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Animal studies support the role of the dopamine D3 receptor (DRD3) in alcohol reinforcement or liking. Sustained voluntary alcohol drinking in rats has been associated with an upregulation of striatal DRD3 gene expression and selective blockade of DRD3 reduces ethanol preference, consumption, and cue-induced reinstatement. In vivo measurement of DRD3 in the living human brain has not been possible until recently owing to a lack of suitable tools. In this study, DRD3 status was assessed for the first time in human alcohol addiction. Brain DRD3 availability was compared between 16 male abstinent alcohol-dependent patients and 13 healthy non-dependent age-matched males using the DRD3-preferring agonist positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand [(11)C]PHNO with and without blockade with a selective DRD3 antagonist (GSK598809 60 mg p.o.). In striatal regions of interest, where the [(11)C]PHNO PET signal represents primarily DRD2 binding, no differences were seen in [(11)C]PHNO binding between the groups at baseline. However, baseline [(11)C]PHNO binding was higher in alcohol-dependent patients in hypothalamus (VT: 16.5 ± 4 vs 13.7 ± 2.9, p = 0.040), a region in which the [(11)C]PHNO signal almost entirely reflects DRD3 availability. The reductions in regional receptor binding (VT) following a single oral dose of GSK598809 (60 mg) were consistent with those observed in previous studies across all regions. There were no differences in regional changes in VT following DRD3 blockade between the two groups, indicating that the regional fractions of DRD3 are similar in the two groups, and the increased [(11)C]PHNO binding in the hypothalamus in alcohol-dependent patients is explained by elevated DRD3 in this group. Although we found no difference between alcohol-dependent patients and controls in striatal DRD3 levels, increased DRD3 binding in the hypothalamus of alcohol-dependent patients was observed. This may be relevant to the development of future therapeutic strategies to treat alcohol abuse.
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Adverse effects from antidepressant treatment: randomised controlled trial of 601 depressed individuals.
Psychopharmacology (Berl.)
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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Premature discontinuation of antidepressant drugs is a frequent clinical problem. Adverse effects are common, occur early on in treatment and are reported to be one of the main reasons for discontinuation of antidepressant treatment.
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The influence of different cellular environments on PET radioligand binding: an application to D2/3-dopamine receptor imaging.
Neuropharmacology
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2014
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Various D2/3 receptor PET radioligands are sensitive to endogenous dopamine release in vivo. The Occupancy Model is generally used to interpret changes in binding observed in in vivo competition binding studies; an Internalisation Hypothesis may also contribute to these changes in signal. Extension of in vivo competition imaging to other receptor systems has been relatively unsuccessful. A greater understanding of the cellular processes underlying signal changes following endogenous neurotransmitter release may help translate this imaging paradigm to other receptor systems. To investigate the Internalisation Hypothesis we assessed the effects of different cellular environments, representative of those experienced by a receptor following agonist-induced internalisation, on the binding of three D2/3 PET ligands with previously reported sensitivities to endogenous dopamine in vivo, namely [3H]spiperone, [3H]raclopride and [3H]PhNO. Furthermore, we determined the contribution of each cellular compartment to total striatal binding for these D2/3 ligands. These studies suggest that sensitivity to endogenous dopamine release in vivo is related to a decrease in affinity in the endosomal environment compared with those found at the cell surface. In agreement with these findings we also demonstrate that ?25% of total striatal binding for [3H]spiperone originates from sub-cellular, microsomal receptors, whereas for [3H]raclopride and [3H]PhNO, this fraction is lower, representing ?14% and 17%, respectively. This pharmacological approach is fully translatable to other receptor systems. Assessment of affinity shifts in different cellular compartments may play a crucial role for understanding if a radioligand is sensitive to endogenous release in vivo, for not just the D2/3, but other receptor systems.
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A randomised trial of the effect of the glycine reuptake inhibitor Org 25935 on cognitive performance in healthy male volunteers.
Hum Psychopharmacol
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2014
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Cognitive impairment is integral to many neurological illnesses. Specific enhancement of glutamatergic transmission may improve memory and learning. Org 25935 increases the synaptic availability of glycine, an obligate co-agonist with glutamate at N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. We hypothesised that Org 25935 would acutely improve the learning and memory of healthy volunteers.
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Enhanced repertoire of brain dynamical states during the psychedelic experience.
Hum Brain Mapp
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2014
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The study of rapid changes in brain dynamics and functional connectivity (FC) is of increasing interest in neuroimaging. Brain states departing from normal waking consciousness are expected to be accompanied by alterations in the aforementioned dynamics. In particular, the psychedelic experience produced by psilocybin (a substance found in "magic mushrooms") is characterized by unconstrained cognition and profound alterations in the perception of time, space and selfhood. Considering the spontaneous and subjective manifestation of these effects, we hypothesize that neural correlates of the psychedelic experience can be found in the dynamics and variability of spontaneous brain activity fluctuations and connectivity, measurable with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Fifteen healthy subjects were scanned before, during and after intravenous infusion of psilocybin and an inert placebo. Blood-Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) temporal variability was assessed computing the variance and total spectral power, resulting in increased signal variability bilaterally in the hippocampi and anterior cingulate cortex. Changes in BOLD signal spectral behavior (including spectral scaling exponents) affected exclusively higher brain systems such as the default mode, executive control, and dorsal attention networks. A novel framework enabled us to track different connectivity states explored by the brain during rest. This approach revealed a wider repertoire of connectivity states post-psilocybin than during control conditions. Together, the present results provide a comprehensive account of the effects of psilocybin on dynamical behavior in the human brain at a macroscopic level and may have implications for our understanding of the unconstrained, hyper-associative quality of consciousness in the psychedelic state. Hum Brain Mapp 35:5442-5456, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Doing it by numbers: a simple approach to reducing the harms of alcohol.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2014
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Alcohol use is one of the top five causes of disease and disability in almost all countries in Europe, and in the eastern part of Europe it is the number one cause. In the UK, alcohol is now the leading cause of death in men between the ages of 16-54 years, accounting for over 20% of the total. Europeans above 15 years of age in the EU on average consume alcohol at a level which is twice as high as the world average. Alcohol should therefore be a public health priority, but it is not. This paper puts forward a new approach to reduce alcohol use and harms that would have major public health and social impacts. Our approach comprises individual behaviour and policy elements. It is based on the assumption that heavy drinking is key. It is simple, so it would be easy to introduce, and because it lacks stigmatising issues such as the diagnosis of addiction and dependence, it should not be contentious.
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Alcohol and Relatively Pure Cannabis Use, but Not Schizotypy, are Associated with Cognitive Attenuations.
Front Psychiatry
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Elevated schizotypy relates to similar cognitive attenuations as seen in psychosis and cannabis/polydrug use. Also, in schizotypal populations cannabis and polydrug (including licit drug) use are enhanced. These cognitive attenuations may therefore either be a behavioral marker of psychotic (-like) symptoms or the consequence of enhanced drug use in schizotypal populations. To elucidate this, we investigated the link between cognitive attenuation and cannabis use in largely pure cannabis users (35) and non-using controls (48), accounting for the potential additional influence of both schizotypy and licit drug use (alcohol, nicotine). Cognitive attenuations commonly seen in psychosis were associated with cannabis and alcohol use, but not schizotypy. Future studies should therefore consider (i) non-excessive licit substance use (e.g., alcohol) in studies investigating the effect of cannabis use on cognition and (ii) both enhanced illicit and licit substance use in studies investigating cognition in schizotypal populations.
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The effects of psilocybin and MDMA on between-network resting state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers.
Front Hum Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Perturbing a system and observing the consequences is a classic scientific strategy for understanding a phenomenon. Psychedelic drugs perturb consciousness in a marked and novel way and thus are powerful tools for studying its mechanisms. In the present analysis, we measured changes in resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between a standard template of different independent components analysis (ICA)-derived resting state networks (RSNs) under the influence of two different psychoactive drugs, the stimulant/psychedelic hybrid, MDMA, and the classic psychedelic, psilocybin. Both were given in placebo-controlled designs and produced marked subjective effects, although reports of more profound changes in consciousness were given after psilocybin. Between-network RSFC was generally increased under psilocybin, implying that networks become less differentiated from each other in the psychedelic state. Decreased RSFC between visual and sensorimotor RSNs was also observed. MDMA had a notably less marked effect on between-network RSFC, implying that the extensive changes observed under psilocybin may be exclusive to classic psychedelic drugs and related to their especially profound effects on consciousness. The novel analytical approach applied here may be applied to other altered states of consciousness to improve our characterization of different conscious states and ultimately advance our understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying them.
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The entropic brain: a theory of conscious states informed by neuroimaging research with psychedelic drugs.
Front Hum Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Entropy is a dimensionless quantity that is used for measuring uncertainty about the state of a system but it can also imply physical qualities, where high entropy is synonymous with high disorder. Entropy is applied here in the context of states of consciousness and their associated neurodynamics, with a particular focus on the psychedelic state. The psychedelic state is considered an exemplar of a primitive or primary state of consciousness that preceded the development of modern, adult, human, normal waking consciousness. Based on neuroimaging data with psilocybin, a classic psychedelic drug, it is argued that the defining feature of "primary states" is elevated entropy in certain aspects of brain function, such as the repertoire of functional connectivity motifs that form and fragment across time. Indeed, since there is a greater repertoire of connectivity motifs in the psychedelic state than in normal waking consciousness, this implies that primary states may exhibit "criticality," i.e., the property of being poised at a "critical" point in a transition zone between order and disorder where certain phenomena such as power-law scaling appear. Moreover, if primary states are critical, then this suggests that entropy is suppressed in normal waking consciousness, meaning that the brain operates just below criticality. It is argued that this entropy suppression furnishes normal waking consciousness with a constrained quality and associated metacognitive functions, including reality-testing and self-awareness. It is also proposed that entry into primary states depends on a collapse of the normally highly organized activity within the default-mode network (DMN) and a decoupling between the DMN and the medial temporal lobes (which are normally significantly coupled). These hypotheses can be tested by examining brain activity and associated cognition in other candidate primary states such as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and early psychosis and comparing these with non-primary states such as normal waking consciousness and the anaesthetized state.
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Experienced drug users assess the relative harms and benefits of drugs: a web-based survey.
J Psychoactive Drugs
PUBLISHED: 12-31-2013
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A web-based survey was used to consult the opinions of experienced drug users on matters related to drug harms. We identified a rare sample of 93 drug users with personal experience with 11 different illicit drugs that are widely used in the UK. Asked to assess the relative harms of these drugs, they ranked alcohol and tobacco as the most harmful, and three "Class A" drugs (MDMA, LSD, and psilocybin) and one class B (cannabis) were ranked as the four least harmful drugs. When asked to assess the relative potential for benefit of the 11 drugs, MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, and cannabis were ranked in the top four; and when asked why these drugs are beneficial, rather than simply report hedonic properties, they referred to potential therapeutic applications (e.g., as tools to assist psychotherapy). These results provide a useful insight into the opinions of experienced drug users on a subject about which they have a rare and intimate knowledge.
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Resting state synchrony in anxiety-related circuits of abstinent alcohol-dependent patients.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse
PUBLISHED: 11-09-2013
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Anxiety has been linked to initiation, maintenance and relapse of alcohol dependence. Neurobiological models of anxiety have proposed important roles for amygdala-insula and amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex interactions in the generation and regulation of anxiety states, respectively.
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Benzodiazepines: risks and benefits. A reconsideration.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 09-24-2013
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Over the last decade there have been further developments in our knowledge of the risks and benefits of benzodiazepines, and of the risks and benefits of alternatives to benzodiazepines. Representatives drawn from the Psychopharmacology Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Association for Psychopharmacology together examined these developments, and have provided this joint statement with recommendations for clinical practice. The working group was mindful of widespread concerns about benzodiazepines and related anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs. The group believes that whenever benzodiazepines are prescribed, the potential for dependence or other harmful effects must be considered. However, the group also believes that the risks of dependence associated with long-term use should be balanced against the benefits that in many cases follow from the short or intermittent use of benzodiazepines and the risk of the underlying conditions for which treatment is being provided.
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Broadband cortical desynchronization underlies the human psychedelic state.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 09-20-2013
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Psychedelic drugs produce profound changes in consciousness, but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms for this remain unclear. Spontaneous and induced oscillatory activity was recorded in healthy human participants with magnetoencephalography after intravenous infusion of psilocybin--prodrug of the nonselective serotonin 2A receptor agonist and classic psychedelic psilocin. Psilocybin reduced spontaneous cortical oscillatory power from 1 to 50 Hz in posterior association cortices, and from 8 to 100 Hz in frontal association cortices. Large decreases in oscillatory power were seen in areas of the default-mode network. Independent component analysis was used to identify a number of resting-state networks, and activity in these was similarly decreased after psilocybin. Psilocybin had no effect on low-level visually induced and motor-induced gamma-band oscillations, suggesting that some basic elements of oscillatory brain activity are relatively preserved during the psychedelic experience. Dynamic causal modeling revealed that posterior cingulate cortex desynchronization can be explained by increased excitability of deep-layer pyramidal neurons, which are known to be rich in 5-HT2A receptors. These findings suggest that the subjective effects of psychedelics result from a desynchronization of ongoing oscillatory rhythms in the cortex, likely triggered by 5-HT2A receptor-mediated excitation of deep pyramidal cells.
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The role of the opioid system in alcohol dependence.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 09-18-2013
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The role of the brain opioid system in alcohol dependence has been the subject of much research for over 25 years. This review explores the evidence: firstly describing the opioid receptors in terms of their individual subtypes, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and ligands; secondly, summarising emerging data from specific neurochemical, behavioural and neuroimaging studies, explaining the characteristics of addiction with a focus on alcohol dependence and connecting the opioid system with alcohol dependence; and finally reviewing the known literature regarding opioid antagonists in clinical use for alcohol dependence. Further interrogation of how modulation of the opioid system, via use of MOP (mu), DOP (delta) and KOP (kappa) agents, restores the balance of a dysregulated system in alcohol dependence should increase our insight into this disease process and therefore guide better methods for understanding and treating alcohol dependence in the future.
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Whole-exome sequencing identifies a polymorphism in the BMP5 gene associated with SSRI treatment response in major depression.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 08-07-2013
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Although antidepressants are widely used in the pharmacotherapy of major depressive disorder (MDD), their efficacy is still insufficient as approximately one-third of the patients do not fully recover even after several treatment trials. Inter-individual genetic differences are thought to contribute to the variability in antidepressant response; however, current findings from pharmacogenetic studies are uncertain or not clearly replicated. Here we report the first application of full exome sequencing for the analysis of pharmacogenomics on antidepressant treatment. After 12 weeks of treatment with the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor escitalopram, we selected five clear responders and five clear non-responders for exome sequencing. By comparing the allele counts of previously known single nucleotide polymorphisms and novel polymorphisms we selected 38 markers for further genotyping in two independent patient samples treated with escitalopram (n=116 and n=394). The A allele, carried by approximately 30% of the patients with MDD, of rs41271330 in the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP5) gene showed strong association with worse treatment response in both sample sets (p=0.001), indicating that this is an promising pharmacogenetic marker for prediction of antidepressant therapeutic outcome.
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Anhedonia revisited: is there a role for dopamine-targeting drugs for depression?
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 07-31-2013
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It is 16 years since we reviewed anhedonia in depression. Since then, there have been important developments in the study of anhedonia, mainly using the new techniques that neuroimaging made available, which provide very interesting new insights. It is becoming increasingly apparent that anhedonia, with psychomotor retardation, defines a dimension in depressive disorder that seems to be distinct from a dimension encompassing mood plus somatic symptoms. These dimensions can coexist, but may also be present separately. The first appears associated with disturbances (under-functioning) in dopamine function; the other appears to be related to a similar under-functioning in the serotonin system. Furthermore, anhedonia itself increasingly appears to be a composite symptom, consisting of at least two dimensions (i.e. a motivational/appetitive and a consummatory one). Depression appears to be characteristically linked more to the first one, in contrast to what was originally thought. We discuss the significance of the above in the evolving treatment of depression and the potential use of dopamine-targeting drugs.
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The size, burden and cost of disorders of the brain in the UK.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 07-24-2013
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The aim of this paper is to increase awareness of the prevalence and cost of psychiatric and neurological disorders (brain disorders) in the UK.
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Investigating expectation and reward in human opioid addiction with [(11) C]raclopride PET.
Addict Biol
PUBLISHED: 07-09-2013
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The rewarding properties of some abused drugs are thought to reside in their ability to increase striatal dopamine levels. Similar increases have been shown in response to expectation of a positive drug effect. The actions of opioid drugs on striatal dopamine release are less well characterized. We examined whether heroin and the expectation of heroin reward increases striatal dopamine levels in human opioid addiction. Ten opioid-dependent participants maintained on either methadone or buprenorphine underwent [(11) C]raclopride positron emission tomography imaging. Opioid-dependent participants were scanned three times, receiving reward from 50-mg intravenous heroin (diamorphine; pharmaceutical heroin) during the first scan to generate expectation of the same reward at the second scan, during which they only received 0.1-mg intravenous heroin. There was no heroin injection during the third scan. Intravenous 50-mg heroin during the first scan induced pronounced effects leading to high levels of expectation at the second scan. There was no detectable increase in striatal dopamine levels to either heroin reward or expectation of reward. We believe this is the first human study to examine whether expectation of heroin reward increases striatal dopamine levels in opioid addiction. The absence of detectable increased dopamine levels to both the expectation and delivery of a heroin-related reward may have been due to the impact of substitute medication. It does however contrast with the changes seen in abstinent stimulant users, suggesting that striatal dopamine release alone may not play such a pivotal role in opioid-maintained individuals.
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Effects of upper respiratory tract illnesses, ibuprofen and caffeine on reaction time and alertness.
Psychopharmacology (Berl.)
PUBLISHED: 07-02-2013
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Compared with healthy individuals, those with upper respiratory tract illnesses (URTIs) report reduced alertness and have slower reaction times. It is important to evaluate medication that can remove this behavioural malaise.
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Changes in cardiovascular function after venlafaxine but not pregabalin in healthy volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of orthostatic challenge, blood pressure and heart rate.
Hum Psychopharmacol
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2013
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It is generally thought that venlafaxine raises blood pressure at higher doses; however, some studies have found no effect or a decrease in blood pressure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiovascular (CV) effects of 3?weeks of dosing with venlafaxine, pregabalin and placebo on young healthy adults. Fifty-four participants, of mean age 23.1?years (sd 4.68), 29 male, were randomised into three parallel groups. Each group received one of the three drugs, dosed incrementally over a 3-week period to reach daily doses of 150?mg/day venlafaxine and 200?mg/day pregabalin. Blood pressure sphygmomanometer measurements, heart rate measurements, and orthostatic challenges recorded continuously beat-to-beat were performed weekly over this period and 5?days after treatment cessation. Results showed resting systolic blood pressure (SBP) and resting and standing diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (HR) were significantly raised by venlafaxine compared with the pregabalin and placebo groups. SBP drop on standing was larger, the resulting overshoot was smaller, and recovery was slower on venlafaxine. HR recovery was significantly impaired by venlafaxine. CV changes were observed after only 1?week of dosing at 112.5?mg/day. These effects of venlafaxine are likely to be due to its action of noradrenergic reuptake inhibition. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Stratified medicine for mental disorders.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol
PUBLISHED: 06-19-2013
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There is recognition that biomedical research into the causes of mental disorders and their treatment needs to adopt new approaches to research. Novel biomedical techniques have advanced our understanding of how the brain develops and is shaped by behaviour and environment. This has led to the advent of stratified medicine, which translates advances in basic research by targeting aetiological mechanisms underlying mental disorder. The resulting increase in diagnostic precision and targeted treatments may provide a window of opportunity to address the large public health burden, and individual suffering associated with mental disorders. While mental health and mental disorders have significant representation in the "health, demographic change and wellbeing" challenge identified in Horizon 2020, the framework programme for research and innovation of the European Commission (2014-2020), and in national funding agencies, clear advice on a potential strategy for mental health research investment is needed. The development of such a strategy is supported by the EC-funded "Roadmap for Mental Health Research" (ROAMER) which will provide recommendations for a European mental health research strategy integrating the areas of biomedicine, psychology, public health well being, research integration and structuring, and stakeholder participation. Leading experts on biomedical research on mental disorders have provided an assessment of the state of the art in core psychopathological domains, including arousal and stress regulation, affect, cognition social processes, comorbidity and pharmacotherapy. They have identified major advances and promising methods and pointed out gaps to be addressed in order to achieve the promise of a stratified medicine for mental disorders.
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Lamotrigine for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder comorbid with mood disorders: a case series.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 06-19-2013
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Attention de?cit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently comorbid with mood disorders in both children and adults. Comorbidity is shown to have negative consequences and it needs to be treated effectively. Lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant indicated for the maintenance treatment of bipolar depression is reported to be effective in adult ADHD comorbid with bipolar II disorder. We conducted a retrospective chart review to identify patients with adult ADHD and comorbid mood disorders on lamotrigine, along with ADHD medications, and/or antidepressants and antipsychotics. We identified 40 patients (17 women, 42.5%; age range 16 - 55 yrs), 50% with bipolar II and 50% with recurrent depression. Their treatment response was evaluated by Clinical Global Impression scales. We found that 31 patients (77.5%) improved with lamotrigine, there was no change in 7 patients (17.5%) and 2 patients got worse, with a mean lamotrigine dose of 125.6 ± 47.8 mg (25 - 250 mg). To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that lamotrigine might be a safe and effective treatment option for adult ADHD comorbid with bipolar and recurrent depression.
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Effects of Schedule I drug laws on neuroscience research and treatment innovation.
Nat. Rev. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2013
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Many psychoactive drugs are used recreationally, particularly by young people. This use and its perceived dangers have led to many different classes of drugs being banned under national laws and international conventions. Indeed, the possession of cannabis, 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA; also known as ecstasy) and psychedelics is stringently regulated. An important and unfortunate outcome of the controls placed on these and other psychoactive drugs is that they make research into their mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses - for example, in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder - difficult and in many cases almost impossible.
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Amphetamine, past and present--a pharmacological and clinical perspective.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2013
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Amphetamine was discovered over 100 years ago. Since then, it has transformed from a drug that was freely available without prescription as a panacea for a broad range of disorders into a highly restricted Controlled Drug with therapeutic applications restricted to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. This review describes the relationship between chemical structure and pharmacology of amphetamine and its congeners. Amphetamines diverse pharmacological actions translate not only into therapeutic efficacy, but also into the production of adverse events and liability for recreational abuse. Accordingly, the balance of benefit/risk is the key challenge for its clinical use. The review charts advances in pharmaceutical development from the introduction of once-daily formulations of amphetamine through to lisdexamfetamine, which is the first d-amphetamine prodrug approved for the management of ADHD in children, adolescents and adults. The unusual metabolic route for lisdexamfetamine to deliver d-amphetamine makes an important contribution to its pharmacology. How lisdexamfetamines distinctive pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile translates into sustained efficacy as a treatment for ADHD and its reduced potential for recreational abuse is also discussed.
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Addiction: lifestyle choice or medical diagnosis?
J Eval Clin Pract
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2013
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The concept of addiction is under threat from the current UK governments attempt to define it as a lifestyle choice rather than an illness. This overturns the previous governments rational policy on drug treatment and is both dishonest and damaging. It is dishonest because addiction fulfils all the criteria for an illness. It is damaging because proven treatments for many addictions exist and the failure to optimize these means that more patients will die, get blood-borne viruses, and encourage others into drug use. In this paper, I detail these issues and suggest ways to avoid irreparable damage to the current care provisions that are proving effective.
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A translational rodent assay of affective biases in depression and antidepressant therapy.
Neuropsychopharmacology
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2013
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The subjective measures used to study mood disorders in humans cannot be replicated in animals; however, the increasing application of objective neuropsychological methods provides opportunities to develop translational animal tasks. Here we describe a novel behavioral approach, which has enabled us to investigate similar affective biases in rodents. In our affective bias test (ABT), rats encounter two independent positive experiences--the association between food reward and specific digging substrate--during discrimination learning sessions. These are performed on separate days under either neutral conditions or during a pharmacological or affective state manipulation. Affective bias is then quantified using a preference test where both previously rewarded substrates are presented together and the rats choices recorded. The absolute value of the experience is kept consistent and all other factors are counterbalanced so that any bias at recall can be attributed to treatment. Replicating previous findings from studies in healthy volunteers, we observe significant positive affective biases following acute treatment with typical (fluoxetine, citalopram, reboxetine, venlafaxine, clomipramine) and atypical antidepressants (agomelatine, mirtazapine), and significant negative affective biases following treatment with drugs associated with inducing negative affective states in humans (FG7142, rimonabant, 13-cis retinoic acid). We also observed that acute psychosocial stress and environmental enrichment induce significant negative and positive affective biases, respectively, and provide evidence that these affective biases involve memory consolidation. The positive and negative affective biases induced in our test also mirror the antidepressant and pro-depressant effects of these drugs in patients suggesting our test has both translational and predictive validity. Our results suggest that cognitive affective biases could contribute to drug- or stress-induced mood changes in people and support the hypothesis that a cognitive neuropsychological mechanism contributes to antidepressant drug efficacy.
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CNS drug development in Europe - Past progress and future challenges.
Neurobiol. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2013
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Despite enormous progress in defining, diagnosing and treating mental disorders, EU health systems face a mounting challenge in responding to unmet need. Mental illnesses produce a societal burden that exceeds that for either cancers or cardiovascular conditions. Leveraging advances in science and medicine to make available new innovative medicines is a key component in responding to this challenge. The dominant paradigm has been, is and will continue to be, one of incremental progress. Better medicines for depression, anxiety and psychoses in the working age population would add great value to patients and improve labour productivity. But psychotropic medicines face exceptional challenges in demonstrating their added value, due to uncertainty in patient diagnosis, selecting treatments and ensuring adherence. Also, there are major difficulties in estimating costs. Advances in understanding brain processes, identifying biomarkers and neuro-imaging techniques promise far more effective diagnostic-therapeutic treatments and improved patient outcomes in the future. Currently there are valuable incremental innovations in late development, which may well fail to recover their R&D costs, because of very low reimbursed prices. This will send a signal to innovators not to persist with product development in this area. Recently several leading companies have withdrawn from R&D in these mental disorders. This is a worrying development since building the capabilities to succeed in any disease sector takes many years and, once dismantled, they cannot easily be re-established. Three policy interventions could improve innovation incentives: Further push incentives under i) and streamlining under ii) alone will not reverse the decline in investment incentives. An EU consensus, based upon an innovation model which encompasses the Research, Development and Market phases as a single cyclical process, which addresses the weak market pull incentives under iii) is needed. There is a very real risk that without such an integrated approach to policy reforms, innovation in psychotropic medicines will become a desert in the same way that it did for antibiotics in the 1990s.
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Opiate agonists and antagonists modulate taste perception in opiate-maintained and recently detoxified subjects.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2013
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Heroin addicts consume large quantities of refined sugars. This study investigated the effect of opiate use and antagonism on sweet taste in opiate-maintained drug users and detoxified former chronic opiate users, using a within-subject design. Seven opiate users received methadone and seven buprenorphine maintenance. Six detoxified subjects received naltrexone. Sucrose recognition thresholds and measurements of pleasantness and intensity were determined before and four hours after 1) a single dose of methadone or buprenorphine or 2) naltrexone. Control data were taken from a cohort of healthy volunteers including smokers. All measures of sweet and salt taste perception were significantly greater in opiate users and recently detoxified subjects compared to control subjects, with the exception of sweet pleasantness, which returned to control level after detoxification. Acute methadone administration reduced salt thresholds and unpleasantness to control levels. Increased sweet thresholds and salt unpleasantness in detoxified subjects were reversed by acute opioid antagonism, returning to control levels. These results suggest that opiate use and antagonism alters taste perception. Some of the alterations reverse on detoxification (sweet pleasantness), and others can be reversed by opioid antagonism (sweet threshold, salt unpleasantness). Changes in taste perception may underlie altered consumption of refined sugars in opiate users.
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Generic legislation of new psychoactive drugs.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 01-23-2013
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New psychoactive drugs (NPDs, new psychoactive substances) enter the market all the time. However, it takes several months to ban these NPDs and immediate action is generally not possible. Several European countries and drug enforcement officers insist on a faster procedure to ban NPDs. Introduction of generic legislation, in which clusters of psychotropic drugs are banned in advance, has been mentioned as a possible solution. Here we discuss the pros and cons of such an approach. First, generic legislation could unintentionally increase the expenditures of enforcement, black market practices, administrative burden and health risks for users. Second, it may have a negative impact on research and the development of new treatments. Third, due to the complexity of generic legislation, problems in the enforcement are anticipated due to lack of knowledge about the chemical nomenclature. Finally, various legal options are already available to ban the use, sale and trade of NPDs. We therefore conclude that the currently used scientific benefit-risk evaluation should be continued to limit the adverse health effects of NPDs. Only in emergency cases, where fatal incidents (may) occur, should this approach be overruled.
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Elevating endogenous GABA levels with GAT-1 blockade modulates evoked but not induced responses in human visual cortex.
Neuropsychopharmacology
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2013
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The electroencephalographic/magnetoencephalographic (EEG/MEG) signal is generated primarily by the summation of the postsynaptic currents of cortical principal cells. At a microcircuit level, these glutamatergic principal cells are reciprocally connected to GABAergic interneurons. Here we investigated the relative sensitivity of visual evoked and induced responses to altered levels of endogenous GABAergic inhibition. To do this, we pharmacologically manipulated the GABA system using tiagabine, which blocks the synaptic GABA transporter 1, and so increases endogenous GABA levels. In a single-blinded and placebo-controlled crossover study of 15 healthy participants, we administered either 15?mg of tiagabine or a placebo. We recorded whole-head MEG, while participants viewed a visual grating stimulus, before, 1, 3 and 5?h post tiagabine ingestion. Using beamformer source localization, we reconstructed responses from early visual cortices. Our results showed no change in either stimulus-induced gamma-band amplitude increases or stimulus-induced alpha amplitude decreases. However, the same data showed a 45% reduction in the evoked response component at ?80?ms. These data demonstrate that, in early visual cortex the evoked response shows a greater sensitivity compared with induced oscillations to pharmacologically increased endogenous GABA levels. We suggest that previous studies correlating GABA concentrations as measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy to gamma oscillation frequency may reflect underlying variations such as interneuron/inhibitory synapse density rather than functional synaptic GABA concentrations.
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Personalized risk assessment of drug-related harm is associated with health outcomes.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) assigned quantitative scores for harm to 20 drugs. We hypothesized that a personalized, ISCD-based Composite Harm Score (CHS) would be associated with poor health outcomes in polysubstance users.
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Severity of depression and response to antidepressants: GENPOD randomised controlled trial.
Br J Psychiatry
PUBLISHED: 12-22-2011
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Antidepressant prescribing is widespread. Nonetheless, response to antidepressants is variable. If it was possible to predict response to medication and thus tailor treatment accordingly, this would not only improve patient outcomes but may also have economic benefits.
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Low serotonergic tone and elevated risk for substance misuse.
Br J Psychiatry
PUBLISHED: 11-03-2011
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Cox et als paper addresses an issue that has long been assumed to be a central aspect of brain function - the interplay of different neurotransmitters - but for which we have very little evidence so far. It is currently unclear whether these findings will have implications for the treatment of those with cocaine or other substance dependence.
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Validating the inhalation of 7.5% CO(2) in healthy volunteers as a human experimental medicine: a model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 10-14-2011
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Anxiety is a complex phenomenon that can represent contextually different experiences to individuals. The experimental modelling in healthy volunteers of clinical anxiety experienced by patients is challenging. Furthermore, defining when and why anxiety (which is adaptive) becomes an anxiety disorder (and hence maladaptive) is the subject of much of the published literature. Observations from animal studies can be helpful in deriving mechanistic models, but gathering evidence from patients and reverse translating this to healthy volunteers and thence back to laboratory models is a more powerful approach and is likely to more closely model the clinical disorder. Thus the development and validation of a robust healthy volunteer model of anxiety may help to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinic and provide proof of concept in screening for novel drug treatments. This review considers these concepts and outlines evidence from a validated healthy volunteer model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) following the inhalation of 7.5% CO(2).
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Popular intoxicants: what lessons can be learned from the last 40 years of alcohol and cannabis regulation?
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 09-17-2011
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In this paper we discuss the relative physical, psychological and social harms of the two most frequently used intoxicant drugs in the UK, namely cannabis and alcohol. Over the past 40 years, the use of both drugs has risen significantly with differential consequences. It is argued that increased policing of cannabis use under the current drug classification system will lead to increased criminalization of young people, but is unlikely to significantly reduce the rates of schizophrenia and psychosis. In comparison, increases in alcohol drinking are related to significant increases in liver cirrhosis hospital admissions and mortality, at a time when mortality rates from other major causes are on the decline. A recent expert-led comparison of the health and social harms to the user and to others caused by the most commonly used drugs in the UK showed alcohol to be more than twice as harmful as cannabis to users, and five times as harmful as cannabis to others. The findings underline the need for a coherent, evidence-based drugs policy that enables individuals to make informed decisions about the consequences of their drug use.
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History of cannabis use is not associated with alterations in striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 09-02-2011
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Cannabis use in adolescence is emerging as a risk factor for the development of psychosis. In animal studies, ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, modulates striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission. Alterations in human striatal dopaminergic function have also been reported both in psychosis and in stimulant use. We sought to examine whether striatal dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor availability was altered in volunteers with a history of cannabis use using a database of previously acquired [(11)C]-raclopride positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Ten [(11)C]-raclopride scans from volunteers with a history of cannabis use were compared to ten control scans using a functional striatal subdivision region of interest (ROI) analysis. No significant differences in either overall striatal BP(ND) values or BP(ND) values in any functional striatal subdivision were found between the two groups. There was also no correlation between lifetime frequency of cannabis use and BP(ND) values. Limbic striatal BP(ND) values were ten percent lower in current nicotine cigarette smokers. These findings suggest that, unlike other drugs of abuse, a history of cannabis use is not associated with alterations in striatal dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor availability.
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The effects of 7.5% carbon dioxide inhalation on task performance in healthy volunteers.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 09-02-2011
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Studies have shown that anxiety can positively or negatively affect performance with respect to focusing of attention or distractibility, subjective workload and effort (Humphreys and Revelle, 1984). The inhalation of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) is associated with physiological and psychological effects of anxiety (Bailey et al., 2005) but its effects on performance have rarely been reported. The studies reported here looked at the effects of CO(2) inhalation on physiological and subjective measures and performance on two tasks. Eight healthy male participants completed a tracking task with a reaction time component, and 12 healthy participants (six male) completed a complex target identification task. Tasks were performed during 20-min inhalations of 7.5% CO(2)/21% O(2)/71.5% N(2) mixture or medical air. Continuous heart rate and blood pressure measures were taken, in addition to subjective measures of mood and workload. In comparison with air, CO(2) increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased subjective scores of panic, anxiety, fear, and tension, and reduced subjective scores of relaxation and happiness. Attention was focussed when inhaling CO(2) during the simple task, and central demand was greater when inhaling CO(2) during the complex task. Therefore, inhalation of 7.5% CO(2) produces effects on task performance which are consistent with anxiety.
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Radiative efficiencies for fluorinated esters: indirect global warming potentials of hydrofluoroethers.
Phys Chem Chem Phys
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2011
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Density Functional Theory (DFT) has been used with an empirically-derived correction for the wavenumbers of vibrational band positions to predict the infrared spectra of several fluorinated esters (FESs). Radiative efficiencies (REs) were then determined using the method of Pinnock et al. and these were used with atmospheric lifetimes from the literature to determine the direct global warming potentials of FESs. FESs, in particular fluoroalkylacetates, alkylfluoroacetates and fluoroalkylformates, are potential greenhouse gases and their likely long atmospheric lifetimes and relatively large REs, compared to their parent HFEs, make them active contributors to global warming. Here, we use the concept of indirect global warming potential (indirect GWP) to assess the contribution to the warming of several commonly used HFEs emitted from the Earths surface, explicitly taking into account that these HFEs will be converted into the corresponding FESs in the troposphere. The indirect GWP can be calculated using the radiative efficiencies and lifetimes of the HFE and its degradation FES products. We found that the GWPs of those studied HFEs which have the smallest direct GWP can be increased by 100-1600% when taking account of the cumulative effect due to the secondary FESs formed during HFE atmospheric oxidation. This effect may be particularly important for non-segregated HFEs and some segregated HFEs, which may contribute significantly more to global warming than can be concluded from examination of their direct GWPs.
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Substitution therapy for alcoholism: time for a reappraisal?
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 07-08-2011
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A number of compounds already in use as medications for various indications substitute for ethanol at clinically relevant brain pathways, in particular, at gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Nevertheless, although substitute medications have been recognized for heroin and tobacco dependence, patients with alcohol dependence are rarely offered an analogous approach. Benzodiazepines may have paradoxical effects, and abuse and dependence are known. Baclofen (GABA(B) agonist) has not been associated with dependence or misuse and has been effective in several trials in preventing relapse, although research is required to establish the optimal dosing regimen. GABA-ergic anticonvulsants, helpful in treating withdrawal, have yet to emerge as effective in relapse prevention. Clomethiazole and sodium oxybate, the latter having been shown to be effective in relapse prevention, have incurred a reputation for dependence and abuse. However, data have emerged showing that the risk of abuse of sodium oxybate is lower than many clinicians had foreseen. For a condition where existing therapies are only effective in a proportion of patients, and which has high morbidity and mortality, the time now seems right for reappraising the use of substitute prescribing for alcohol dependence.
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Highlights of the international consensus statement on major depressive disorder.
J Clin Psychiatry
PUBLISHED: 07-08-2011
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The International Consensus Group on Depression gathered to outline a universal treatment algorithm for depression with the purpose of merging the evidence base and standards of clinical practice from various countries, including the United States, Europe, the Middle East, China, and Japan. This brief summary includes the following recommendations made by the consensus group: periodically screen all patients for depression, use measurement-based tools and full psychiatric assessments to complete differential diagnoses, refer patients to psychiatric specialists when appropriate, establish a therapeutic alliance with patients and their families, begin treatment with an antidepressant for moderate or severe depression, treat patients to remission, and continually monitor patients symptomatic improvement.
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5-HT radioligands for human brain imaging with PET and SPECT.
Med Res Rev
PUBLISHED: 06-14-2011
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The serotonergic system plays a key modulatory role in the brain and is the target for many drug treatments for brain disorders either through reuptake blockade or via interactions at the 14 subtypes of 5-HT receptors. This review provides the history and current status of radioligands used for positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) imaging of human brain serotonin (5-HT) receptors, the 5-HT transporter (SERT), and 5-HT synthesis rate. Currently available radioligands for in vivo brain imaging of the 5-HT system in humans include antagonists for the 5-HT(1A), 5-HT(1B), 5-HT(2A), and 5-HT(4) receptors, and for SERT. Here we describe the evolution of these radioligands, along with the attempts made to develop radioligands for additional serotonergic targets. We describe the properties needed for a radioligand to become successful and the main caveats. The success of a PET or SPECT radioligand can ultimately be assessed by its frequency of use, its utility in humans, and the number of research sites using it relative to its invention date, and so these aspects are also covered. In conclusion, the development of PET and SPECT radioligands to image serotonergic targets is of high interest, and successful evaluation in humans is leading to invaluable insight into normal and abnormal brain function, emphasizing the need for continued development of both SPECT and PET radioligands for human brain imaging.
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Preliminary evidence of anxiolytic effects of the CRF(1) receptor antagonist R317573 in the 7.5% CO(2) proof-of-concept experimental model of human anxiety.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 05-09-2011
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We have validated the use of prolonged inhalation of 7.5% carbon dioxide (CO(2)) as a human model of anxiety and have shown that drugs from two prototypical classes of anxiolytics, benzodiazepines and a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, attenuate CO(2)-induced symptoms (Bailey et al., 2007a). Preclinical evidence suggests that drugs acting at the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system may be useful for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and other stress-related disorders (Valdez, 2006), hence we have now examined the effects of a CRF(1) receptor antagonist in the 7.5% CO(2) model. In a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled, study in 32 healthy participants we examined the effects of 7 days of treatment with the CRF(1) receptor antagonist, R317573, at a dose that shows a favourable safety profile and is comparable with those effective in preclinical models (40?mg). On day 8, eight of the placebo-treated group received lorazepam (LZP) 2?mg as a positive control. All participants underwent 20?min inhalation of 7.5% CO(2)-enriched air. Subjective reports of peak gas effects were assessed using visual analogue scales and questionnaires. The mean age of participants was 26 years, and 13 were male. The peak effects of CO(2) were expressed as a difference from baseline scores obtained while breathing air alone. Compared with placebo (PLAC), both drug groups showed a decrease in all subjective symptoms, total score on the panic symptom inventory (CRF 11 [2.6], PLAC 16.4 [3.1], LZP 2.9 [3.0]) and a generalized anxiety disorder symptom scale (CRF 2.2 [1.5], PLAC 8.2 [2.2], LZP 1.1 [1.5]). We have shown that a drug that acts to inhibit the CRF(1) receptor shows efficacy in the 7.5% CO(2) model of anxiety in healthy participants.
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Effects of 7.5% CO(2) inhalation on allocation of spatial attention to facial cues of emotional expression.
Cogn Emot
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2011
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Increased vigilance to threat-related stimuli is thought to be a core cognitive feature of anxiety. We sought to investigate the cognitive impact of experimentally induced anxiety, by means of a 7.5% CO(2) challenge, which acts as an unconditioned anxiogenic stimulus, on attentional bias for positive and negative facial cues of emotional expression in the dot-probe task. In two experiments we found robust physiological and subjective effects of the CO(2) inhalation consistent with the claim that the procedure reliably induces anxiety. Data from the dot-probe task demonstrated an attentional bias to emotional facial expressions compared with neutral faces regardless of valence (happy, angry, and fearful). These attentional effects, however, were entirely inconsistent in terms of their relationship with induced anxiety. We conclude that the previously reported poor reliability of this task is the most parsimonious explanation for our conflicting findings and that future research should develop a more reliable paradigm for measuring attentional bias in this field.
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Neuroscience in recession?
Nat. Rev. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 04-21-2011
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As the global financial downturn continues, its impact on neuroscientists - both on an individual level and at the level of their research institute - becomes increasingly apparent. How is the economic crisis affecting neuroscience funding, career prospects, international collaborations and scientists morale in different parts of the world? Nature Reviews Neuroscience gauged the opinions of a number of leading neuroscientists: the President of the Society for Neuroscience, the President Elect of the British Neuroscience Association, the former President of the Japan Neuroscience Society, the President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and the Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health. Their responses provide interesting and important insights into the regional impact of the global financial downturn, with some causes for optimism for the future of neuroscience research.
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Sleep and its disorders in translational medicine.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 04-13-2011
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The study of sleep is a useful approach to studying the brain in psychiatric disorders and in investigating the effects of psychotropic drugs. Sleep physiology lends itself well to pharmacological and physiological manipulation, as it has the advantage of a functional output, the electroencephalograph, which is common to all mammals, and can be measured in freely moving (or naturally sleeping) animals under controlled laboratory conditions or in a naturalistic home environment. The complexity of sleep architecture varies between species but all share features which are comparable. In addition, sleep architecture is sensitive to changes in brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, so cross-species sleep measurement can be combined with pharmacological manipulation to investigate the receptor mechanisms controlling sleep-wake regulation and sleep architecture in response to known and novel agents. Translational approaches such as these have improved our understanding of sleep circuitry and facilitated the development of new treatments for sleep disorders, particularly insomnia. This review provides examples of how research findings within the sleep field have been translated between animal models, healthy volunteers and patient populations with particular focus on the serotonergic system.
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Polymorphism of the 5-HT transporter and response to antidepressants: randomised controlled trial.
Br J Psychiatry
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2011
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Antidepressants exhibit a variety of pharmacological actions including inhibition of the serotonin and noradrenaline transporters. We wished to investigate whether genetic variation could be used to target or personalise treatment, in a comparison of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) with noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (NARIs).
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Titanocene anticancer complexes and their binding mode of action to human serum albumin: a computational study.
Metallomics
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2011
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Due to the pivotal role played by human serum albumin (HSA) in the transport and cytotoxicity of titanocene complexes, a docking study has been performed on a selected set of titanocene complexes to aid in the current understanding of the potential mode of action of these titanocenes upon binding HSA. Analysis of the docking results has revealed potential binding at the known drug binding sites in HSA and has provided some explanation for the specificity and subsequent cytotoxicity of these titanocenes. Additionally, a new alternative binding site for these titanocenes has been postulated.
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Immobilized boron-centered heteroscorpionates: heterocycle metathesis and coordination chemistry.
Inorg Chem
PUBLISHED: 12-28-2010
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The preparation of a resin-supported boron-scorpionate ligand and its nickel(II) coordination complexes are reported. The supported ligand is prepared as its potassium salt, making it a general reagent suitable for chelation of any transition metal ion. Resin-immobilized benzotriazole (Bead-btz) reacted cleanly with KTp* (Tp* = hydrotris(3,5-dimethylpyrazolyl)borate) by heterocycle metathesis in warm dimethylformamide (DMF) to yield bead-TpK, {resin-btz(H)B(pz*)(2)}K. Significantly, bead-TpK readily bound nickel(II) from simple salts with minimal leaching of the nickel ion. Bead-TpNiNO(3) reacts further with cysteine thiolate (ethyl ester), imparting the deep green color to the beads characteristic of a Tp(R)NiCysEt coordination sphere. Bead-TpNiCysEt exhibited an oxygen sensitivity similar to Tp*NiCysEt in solution (Inorg. Chem. 1999, p 5690) and also independently verified for a selenocystamine analogue, Tp*NiSeCysAm. Addition of fresh cysteine thiolate ethyl ester to oxidized bead-TpNiCysEt reproduced the original green color. Heterocycle metathesis was also used to prepare KTp as a white solid. Reaction with nickel(II) gave (Tp)(2)Ni, separable into two different isomers. The air-sensitive molybdenum(0) complex, [PPh(4)][TpMo(CO)(3)], was also prepared and the C(s) complex symmetry demonstrated by infrared and (13)C NMR spectroscopies. Immobilized TpmMo(CO)(3) was prepared from the previously reported resin-supported tris(pyrazolyl)methane. In contrast to its weak coordination of nickel(II) (Inorg. Chem. 2009, p 3535), bead-Tpm proved a strong chelate toward this second row metal. The supported scorpionates described here should find use in studies of selective metal-protein binding, metalloprotein modeling, and heterogeneous catalysis, and render such scorpionate applications amenable to combinatorial methods.
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Gender differences in brain serotonin transporter availability in panic disorder.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 12-08-2010
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The role of the serotonin (5-HT) system in the neurobiology and treatment of panic disorder (PD) remains unproven. Previously we detected lower brain 5-HT transporter (SERT) availability in PD, but the findings were preliminary and mainly limited to female patients. The aim of this study was to assess non-displaceable brain SERT binding potential (BP (ND)) in male and female patients with PD. The SERT BP (ND) was measured in groups of patients with PD (five males and six females) and matched healthy control subjects (12 males and 12 females) using positron emission tomography (PET) and [¹¹C]MADAM tracer. SERT BP (ND) were significantly higher in 13 of 20 studied brain regions, including several cortical and raphe areas, but lower in the hippocampus in males with PD as compared with healthy males. No significant differences in SERT BP (ND) were observed between female patients and controls. The results suggest gender-dependent regional differences in brain SERT availability and converge with previous PET findings of reduced 5-HT(1A) receptor binding in similar brain areas in PD. Distinctive functioning of the 5-HT system in males and females may underlie certain gender-dependent differences in expressions of PD.
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Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis.
Lancet
PUBLISHED: 10-29-2010
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Proper assessment of the harms caused by the misuse of drugs can inform policy makers in health, policing, and social care. We aimed to apply multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) modelling to a range of drug harms in the UK.
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A [11C]Ro15 4513 PET study suggests that alcohol dependence in man is associated with reduced ?5 benzodiazepine receptors in limbic regions.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 09-24-2010
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Preclinical evidence suggests the ?5 subtype of the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor is involved in some of the actions of alcohol and in memory. The positron emission tomography (PET) tracer, [(11)C]Ro15 4513 shows relative selectivity in labelling the ?5 subtype over the other GABA-benzodiazepine receptor subtypes in limbic regions of the brain. We used this tracer to investigate the distribution of ?5 subtype availability in human alcohol dependence and its relationship to clinical variables. Abstinent (>6 weeks) alcohol-dependent men and healthy male controls underwent an [(11)C]Ro15 4513 PET scan. We report [(11)C]Ro15 4513 brain uptake for 8 alcohol-dependent men and 11 healthy controls. We found a significant reduction in [(11)C]Ro15 4513 binding in the nucleus accumbens, parahippocampal gyri, right hippocampus and amygdala in the alcohol-dependent compared with the healthy control group. Levels of [(11)C]Ro15 4513 binding in both hippocampi were significantly and positively associated with performance on a delayed verbal memory task in the alcohol-dependent but not the control group. We speculate that the reduced limbic [(11)C]Ro15 4513 binding seen here results from the effects of alcohol, though we cannot currently distinguish whether they are compensatory in nature or evidence of brain toxicity.
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Structure of single-wall peptide nanotubes: in situ flow aligning X-ray diffraction.
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2010
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The structure of single wall peptide nanotubes is presented for the model surfactant-like peptide A(6)K. Capillary flow alignment of a sample in the nematic phase at high concentration in water leads to oriented X-ray diffraction patterns. Analysis of these, accompanied by molecular dynamics simulations, suggests the favourable self-assembly of antiparallel peptide dimers into beta-sheet ribbons that wrap helically to form the nanotube wall.
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What one hand giveth the other taketh away: some unpredicted effects of enantiomers in psychopharmacology.
J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2010
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It is well known that many medicines are a mixture of two enantiomers, or mirror-image molecules. Two enantiomers occur when a molecule has a single chiral centre and the two mirror images, called S or L (left handed) and R or D (right handed), are usually found in equal amounts in the parent (racemic) mixture. While for many compounds used in clinical practice the active moiety is found in one of the two enantiomers with the other being seen as an unnecessary and redundant component of the racemic mixture, the difference between enantiomers can mean a difference between therapeutic and adverse effects, as well as in beneficial pharmacological effect and potency.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...

In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.