Researchers have identified a comprehensive circuit mechanism that governs how emotional states can influence movement through connections in the basal ganglia. The mechanism represents a way in which emotional states relate to changes in action control in depression, anxiety, and OCD.
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.
Neural progenitor cells generated from skin cell samples of people on the autism spectrum had heightened levels of DNA damage. The damage clustered in 36 of the same genes which had also been damaged in healthy cells exposed to replication stress. Twenty of the genes have previously been linked to the development of autism.
Researchers have mapped the relationship of two types of neurons implicated in psychiatric and movement disorder. The findings could lead to new treatments for a range of disorders from depression to Parkinson's disease.