Beata Buzas

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A polymorphism of the human Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene that produces a valine-to-methionine substitution at codon 66 (Val66Met) is linked to adult anxiety and mood disorders, possibly through effects on brain circuitry function. Associations between BDNF gene variants and brain activity have not been explored in anxious and depressed(More)
Understanding inter-individual differences in stress response requires the explanation of genetic influences at multiple phenotypic levels, including complex behaviours and the metabolic responses of brain regions to emotional stimuli. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is anxiolytic and its release is induced by stress. NPY is abundantly expressed in regions of the(More)
RATIONALE Genotype at the 5' promoter region (5-HTTLPR) of the serotonin transporter has been implicated in moderating the effects of acute tryptophan depletion on neurocognitive functioning. Acute tryptophan depletion has been associated with the processing of fear-relevant cues, such as emotional expressions, but the effect of genotype at the 5-HTTLPR has(More)
BACKGROUND Associations between a functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene and amygdala activation have been found in healthy, depressed, and anxious adults. This study explored these gene-brain associations in adolescents by examining predictive effects of serotonin transporter gene variants (S and L(G) allele carriers vs. L(A) allele(More)
The neuropeptide galanin (GAL) is widely expressed in the central nervous system. Animal studies have implicated GAL in alcohol abuse and anxiety: chronic ethanol intake increases hypothalamic GAL mRNA; high levels of stress increase GAL release in the central amygdala. The coding sequence of the galanin gene, GAL, is highly conserved and a functional(More)
The opioid-like neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) and its receptor (NOP) are expressed in the substantia nigra (SN), a brain area containing dopamine neurons that degenerate in Parkinson's disease. Endogenous N/OFQ facilitates nigral glutamate release and inhibits nigrostriatal dopamine transmission and motor behavior. Here, we present evidence(More)
Transient reductions in serotonin levels during tryptophan depletion (TD) are thought to impair reward processing in healthy volunteers, while another facet of the serotonergic system, the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) short allele polymorphism, is implicated in augmented processing of aversive stimuli. We examined the impact and interactions of TD and(More)
We have identified the gene encoding nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), the novel opioid-like neuropeptide, as responsive to ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF). N/OFQ mRNA levels were induced five- and ninefold by CNTF in striatal and cortical neurons. In primary astrocytes CNTF also increased N/OFQ mRNA levels. CNTF is a multifunctional cytokine that mediates(More)
RATIONALE The serotonin (5-HT) system is considered important for decision-making. However, its role in reward- and punishment-based processing has not yet been clearly determined. OBJECTIVES The present study examines the effect of 5-HTTLPR genotype and tryptophan depletion on reward- and punishment-related processing, using a task that considers(More)