A worldwide scientific collaboration has produced the first genetic map of the cerebral cortex. The map identifies more than 300 genetic variants that influence cortical structure and play roles in psychiatric disorders.
The largest genetic map of mental health disorders to date reveals there are three groups of highly genetically related disorders among eight psychiatric disorders. A gene related to nervous system development is a risk factor for all eight disorders studied. The RBFOX1 gene is implicated in seven of the eight disorders. ADHD and depression share 44% of genetic risk factors common in the general population. 109 pleiotropic loci affect more than one disorder. These pleiotropic loci are within genes that show heightened expression in the brain through the lifespan, beginning during the second trimester of pregnancy.
A recent case study report highlights the effects of LSD overdoses on three women, revealing the subjects experienced improvements in physical and mental health following their overdoses.
Computer analysis of patients reveals five clearly defined subgroups of psychosis and bipolar disorder. Those in group two were more likely to exhibit suicidal tendencies, while those in group five, for example, were characterized by schizophrenia diagnosis and lower verbal intelligence scores. Defining the characteristics of the subtypes could lead to improved personalized treatments for psychosis related mental illnesses.
Increased potassium currents were responsible for hyperactivity of CA3 neurons. When exposed to potassium channel blockers, the hyperactivity disappeared. However, when exposed to lithium, the drug not only reversed hyperactivity but reduced potassium currents at the same time. The findings strengthen the case that potassium currents play a role in bipolar disorder.
Those with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome had significantly lower brain volume, as well as lower volumes in specific structures, including the thalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala.
Daily exposure to bright, artificial light may help reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Study reports a slightly elevated genetic risk of depression, schizophrenia, and neuroticism among adoptees. However, no association was found between the interaction of genetics and adoption on mental health. While adopted children had a slightly elevated risk for mental health disorders, the adoption process did not appear to increase the impact of the genetic risk.
Analyzing previous studies, researchers have identified the effects of individual and environmental risk factors for suicide over a person's lifespan. The risk factors, researchers report, change throughout a person's lifetime.