“This indicates that several signal substances are implicated in ADHD and that in the future this could pave the way for other drugs than those in use today,” says Jessica Johansson, who is presenting her research findings in a dissertation in medicine at Örebro University.
Jessica Johansson belongs to the Experimental Neuropsychiatric research group that has mapped part of the biochemical changes in cells that underlie ADHD and other neuropsychiatric functional impairments and disorders. Head of the group is Nikolaos Venizelos.
“I usually say that I’m doing research on mental diseases and functional impairments at the cellular level. Many of these are assumed to be the consequence of excessively low levels of important signal substances in the brain, so cell biochemical analyses help us understand the processes that cause the changes.”
For the brain to be able to produce the substances required to send signals, it is dependent on various amino acids being transported to the brain. When it comes to ADHD, Jessica Johansson has studied the transport of amino acids tyrosine and tryptophan, which the brain uses in producing the signal substances dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin.
By analyzing a certain type of connective tissue cells’ (so-called fibroblasts’) capacity to transport these substances, the researchers can also reach conclusions about how well the transport into the brain is working. The findings from these studies show that the transport of tryptophan is lower in children with ADHD, compared with children without that diagnosis.
“This probably means that the brain produces less serotonin. Thus far the focus has mainly been on the signal substances dopamine and noradrenaline in the medical treatment of ADHD. But if low levels of serotonin are also a contributing factor, other drugs may be necessary for successful treatment.”
The head of the research group Nikolaos Venizelos says that the most unexpected discovery in the study, however, was the dramatically reduced amount of the so-called acetylcholine receptor in children with ADHD says. It functions as a receptor protein for the signal substance acetylcholine and is therefore necessary for key signals involving concentration and learning functions, for example. Drugs that reinforce the acetylcholine effect are used in treating Alzheimer’s patients, for instance.
Jessica Johansson has also studied biochemical changes in bipolar disorder (previously called manic-depressive disorder), as there are parallels between ADHD and bipolar disorder. Here it was instead the transport of the amino acid tyrosine that was disturbed, which indicates a reduced production of the signal substances dopamine and noradrenaline.
“Since we have previously seen the same thing in patients with schizophrenia, it’s an indication that both disorders have the same deviant amino acid transport, which might be caused by a shared genetic variant.”For more information, please contact: Jessica Johansson cell phone: +46 (0)707-31 01 43, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Assoc Professor Nikolaos Venizelos, cell phone: + 46 (0)702 55 85 20, email@example.com.
Ingrid Lundegårdh | idw
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine