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The dopamine receptor D2 (encoded by DRD2) is implicated in susceptibility to mental disorders and cocaine abuse, but mechanisms responsible for this relationship remain uncertain. DRD2 mRNA exists in two main splice isoforms with distinct functions: D2 long (D2L) and D2 short (D2S, lacking exon 6), expressed mainly postsynaptically and presynaptically,(More)
Mammals with foveas (or analogous retinal specializations) frequently shift gaze without moving the head, and their behavior contrasts sharply with "afoveate" mammals, in which eye and head movements are strongly coupled. The ability to move the eyes without moving the head could reflect a gating mechanism that blocks a default eye-head synergy when an(More)
Stress-induced activation of the locus ceruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system produces significant cognitive and behavioral effects, including enhanced arousal and attention. Improvements in discrimination task performance and memory have been attributed to this stress response. In contrast, for other cognitive functions that require cognitive flexibility,(More)
OBJECTIVES Our purpose is to investigate cognitive performance and extrapyramidal function early after ecstasy use. BACKGROUND Ecstasy, containing 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, has shown evidence of causing cognitive deficits and parkinsonian signs. Previous research has examined cognitive performance after a period of prolonged abstinence, but(More)
Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in many cell-cell signaling systems, but its mechanism of action is variable. We have previously reported that NO reduces secretion of the peptide hormone, CRH, from cultured placental cells and the perfused placenta. Because placental CRH production seems linked to human parturition, we wished to explore the(More)
Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) is a 41 amino acid neuropeptide that is expressed in the hypothalamus and the human placenta. Placental CRH production has been linked to the determination of gestational length in the human. Although encoded by a single copy gene, CRH expression in the placenta is regulated differently to the hypothalamus.(More)
Recently an association was demonstrated between the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs9939609, within the FTO locus and obesity as a consequence of a genome wide association (GWA) study of type 2 diabetes in adults. We examined the effects of two perfect surrogates for this SNP plus 11 other SNPs at this locus with respect to our childhood obesity(More)
Near the end of human pregnancy the concentration of placental corticotropin-releasing hormone in maternal blood rises exponentially. The rate of elevation of corticotropin-releasing hormone and its duration through time have been linked to the time of onset of labor. Paradoxically, although glucocorticoids are known to inhibit corticotropin-releasing(More)
Several studies suggest that prenatal stress is a possible risk factor in the development of autism spectrum disorders. However, many children exposed to stress prenatally are born healthy and develop typically, suggesting that other factors must contribute to autism. Genes that contribute to stress reactivity may, therefore, exacerbate prenatal(More)
BACKGROUND Structural brain imaging has revealed differences in gray matter volume between depressed individuals and control subjects in key structures related to emotion. The aim of the present study was to assess within subjects whether regional changes in gray matter volume were observed over time in depressed patients treated with sertraline. METHODS(More)