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Identifying genetic variants influencing human brain structures may reveal new biological mechanisms underlying cognition and neuropsychiatric illness. The volume of the hippocampus is a biomarker of incipient Alzheimer's disease and is reduced in schizophrenia, major depression and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Whereas many brain imaging phenotypes are(More)
OBJECTIVE Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to addiction, and in the case of smoking, this often leads to long-lasting nicotine dependence. The authors investigated a possible neural mechanism underlying this vulnerability. METHOD Functional MRI was performed during reward anticipation in 43 adolescent smokers and 43 subjects matched on age, gender,(More)
Because GABA(A) receptors containing alpha2 subunits are highly represented in areas of the brain, such as nucleus accumbens (NAcc), frontal cortex, and amygdala, regions intimately involved in signaling motivation and reward, we hypothesized that manipulations of this receptor subtype would influence processing of rewards. Voltage-clamp recordings from(More)
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) degrades the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. A functional polymorphism in the COMT gene (val158met) accounts for a fourfold variation in enzyme activity. The low-activity met158 allele has been associated with improved working memory but with higher risk for anxiety-related(More)
The Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium is a collaborative network of researchers working together on a range of large-scale studies that integrate data from 70 institutions worldwide. Organized into Working Groups that tackle questions in neuroscience, genetics, and medicine, ENIGMA studies have analyzed neuroimaging(More)
Alcohol consumption is a moderately heritable trait, but the genetic basis in humans is largely unknown, despite its clinical and societal importance. We report a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of ∼2.5 million directly genotyped or imputed SNPs with alcohol consumption (gram per day per kilogram body weight) among 12 population-based samples of(More)
The persistent nature of addiction has been associated with activity-induced plasticity of neurons within the striatum and nucleus accumbens (NAc). To identify the molecular processes leading to these adaptations, we performed Cre/loxP-mediated genetic ablations of two key regulators of gene expression in response to activity, the(More)
The firing of mesolimbic dopamine neurons is important for drug-induced reinforcement, although underlying genetic factors remain poorly understood. In a recent genome-wide association metaanalysis of alcohol intake, we identified a suggestive association of SNP rs26907 in the ras-specific guanine-nucleotide releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene, encoding a(More)
Catecholamine-0-methyl-transferase (COMT) gene variation effects on prefrontal blood oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) activation are robust; however, despite observations that COMT is estrogenically catabolized, sex differences in its prefrontal repercussions remain unclear. Here, in a large sample of healthy adolescents stratified by sex and Val(158)Met(More)
Major depression is conditionally linked to a polymorphism of the human serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4). During the presentation of aversive, but not pleasant, pictures, healthy carriers of the SLC6A4 short (s) allele showed stronger activation of the amygdala on functional magnetic resonance imaging. s carriers also showed greater coupling between the(More)