Alessandro Bertolino

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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates hippocampal plasticity and hippocampal-dependent memory in cell models and in animals. We examined the effects of a valine (val) to methionine (met) substitution in the 5' pro-region of the human BDNF protein. In human subjects, the met allele was associated with poorer episodic memory, abnormal hippocampal(More)
A fundamental characteristic of working memory is that its capacity to handle information is limited. While there have been many brain mapping studies of working memory, the physiological basis of its capacity limitation has not been explained. We identified characteristics of working memory capacity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in(More)
OBJECTIVE The identification of neurobiological intermediate phenotypes may hasten the search for susceptibility genes in complex psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Earlier family studies have suggested that deficits in executive cognition and working memory may be related to genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia, but the biological basis for(More)
Evidence implicates subtle neuronal pathology of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in schizophrenia, but how this pathology is reflected in physiological neuroimaging experiments remains controversial. We investigated PFC function in schizophrenia using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a parametric version of the n-back working memory (WM) task.(More)
GRM3, a metabotropic glutamate receptor-modulating synaptic glutamate, is a promising schizophrenia candidate gene. In a family-based association study, a common GRM3 haplotype was strongly associated with schizophrenia (P = 0.0001). Within this haplotype, the A allele of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 4 (hCV11245618) in intron 2 was slightly(More)
Functional polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and the dopamine transporter (DAT) genes modulate dopamine inactivation, which is crucial for determining neuronal signal-to-noise ratios in prefrontal cortex during working memory. We show that the COMT Met158 allele and the DAT 3' variable number of tandem repeat 10-repeat allele are(More)
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a potential paradigm shift in psychiatric neuroimaging. The technique provides individual, rather than group-averaged, functional neuroimaging data, but subtle methodological confounds represent unique challenges for psychiatric research. As an exemplar of the unique potential and problems of fMRI, we present(More)
Monoaminergic neurotransmitters are known to have modulatory effects on cognition and on neurophysiological function in the cortex. The current study was performed with BOLD fMRI to examine physiological correlates of the effects of dextroamphetamine on working-memory performance in healthy controls. In a group analysis dextroamphetamine increased BOLD(More)
This article reviews prefrontal cortical biology as it relates to pathophysiology and genetic risk for schizophrenia. Studies of prefrontal neurocognition and functional neuroimaging of prefrontal information processing consistently reveal abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia. Abnormalities of prefrontal information processing also are found in(More)
The cingulate cortex is richly innervated by dopaminergic projections and plays a critical role in attentional control (AC). Evidence indicates that dopamine enhances the neurophysiological signal-to-noise ratio and that dopaminergic tone in the frontal cortex is critically dependent on catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). A functional polymorphism(More)