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BACKGROUND Most of our social interactions involve perception of emotional information from the faces of other people. Furthermore, such emotional processes are thought to be aberrant in a range of clinical disorders, including psychosis and depression. However, the exact neurofunctional maps underlying emotional facial processing are not well defined. (More)
Regulation of gene expression represents a major component in antidepressant drug action. The effect of antidepressant treatments on the function of cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), a transcription factor that regulates expression of several genes involved in neuroplasticity, cell survival, and cognition, has been extensively studied.(More)
BACKGROUND Depression has been associated with low brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) serum levels, while antidepressant drugs appear to mend this alteration. The purpose of this study was to assess BDNF serum levels in drug resistant depressed patients before and after repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) antidepressant treatment. (More)
BACKGROUND Alexithymia relates to difficulty recognizing and describing own feelings. Recent literature shows that specific structures process emotions. Aim of this study was to investigate whether alexithymia is associated with a specific cerebral morphology of candidate structures in healthy adults. METHODS Fifty-four female volunteers were enrolled in(More)
Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are trophic factors, widely distributed in the adult brain, whose expression can be modulated by psychoactive drugs. Administration of the atypical antipsychotic quetiapine resulted in a marked elevation of FGF-2 and BDNF mRNA levels in the rat hippocampus, but only under(More)
Several findings have suggested that the neurotrophin BDNF could contribute to clinical efficacy of antidepressant treatments. The purpose of this study was to analyse if ECT operates a modulation of serum BDNF levels in a sample of drug resistant depressed patients. The results obtained show significantly higher serum levels of BDNF following ECT. More(More)
Most violent crimes in Western societies are committed by a small group of men who display antisocial behavior from an early age that remains stable across the life-span. It is not known if these men display abnormal brain structure. We compared regional brain volumes of 26 persistently violent offenders with antisocial personality disorder and substance(More)
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that severely disrupts social and cognitive functions. MRI is the method of choice for in vivo and non-invasively investigating human brain morphology in children and adolescents. The authors reviewed structural MRI studies that investigated structural brain anatomy and development in autistic patients. All original(More)
Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a downstream component of the Wnt pathway and recent studies have reported abnormal levels of GSK-3beta in schizophrenia. In a sample of 147 schizophrenic patients and 212 healthy individuals, we analyzed two common SNPs at position -1727 A/T and -50 C/T and a (CAA)(n) repeat polymorphism localized in intron 1 of the(More)
Changes in synaptic plasticity are involved in pathophysiology of depression and in the mechanism of antidepressants. Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM) kinase II, a protein kinase involved in synaptic plasticity, has been previously shown to be a target of antidepressants. We previously found that antidepressants activate the kinase in hippocampal neuronal cell(More)