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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)
Abnormalities of prefrontal cortical function are prominent features of schizophrenia and have been associated with genetic risk, suggesting that susceptibility genes for schizophrenia may impact on the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal function. A potential susceptibility mechanism involves regulation of prefrontal dopamine, which modulates the response(More)
Carriers of the short allele of a functional 5' promoter polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene have increased anxiety-related temperamental traits, increased amygdala reactivity and elevated risk of depression. Here, we used multimodal neuroimaging in a large sample of healthy human subjects to elucidate neural mechanisms underlying this complex(More)
The complex organization of connectivity in the human brain is incompletely understood. Recently, topological measures based on graph theory have provided a new approach to quantify large-scale cortical networks. These methods have been applied to anatomical connectivity data on nonhuman species, and cortical networks have been shown to have small-world(More)
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a key enzyme in the elimination of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the human brain. Genetic variation in the COMT gene (MIM 116790) has been associated with altered prefrontal cortex function and higher risk for schizophrenia, but the specific alleles and their functional implications have been controversial. We(More)
The constellation of major phenomena associated with schizophrenia (e.g., postpubertal onset, congenital hippocampal area damage, cortical functional deficits, limbic dopamine (DA) dysregulation, and vulnerability to stress) have been difficult to explain with a unitary animal model. Although it has been shown that rats develop increased mesolimbic DA(More)
A major line of evidence that supports the hypothesis of dopamine overactivity in schizophrenia is the psychomimetic potential of agents such as amphetamine that stimulate dopamine outflow. A novel brain imaging method provides an indirect measure of in vivo synaptic dopamine concentration by quantifying the change in dopamine receptor radiotracer binding(More)
This review critically summarizes the neuropathology and genetics of schizophrenia, the relationship between them, and speculates on their functional convergence. The morphological correlates of schizophrenia are subtle, and range from a slight reduction in brain size to localized alterations in the morphology and molecular composition of specific neuronal,(More)
Monamines subserve many critical roles in the brain, and monoaminergic drugs such as amphetamine have a long history in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders and also as a substance of abuse. The clinical effects of amphetamine are quite variable, from positive effects on mood and cognition in some individuals, to negative responses in others, perhaps(More)
BDNF plays a critical role in activity-dependent neuroplasticity underlying learning and memory in the hippocampus. A frequent single nucleotide polymorphism in the targeting region of the human BDNF gene (val66met) has been associated with abnormal intracellular trafficking and regulated secretion of BDNF in cultured hippocampal neurons transfected with(More)