Posts Tagged ‘Mood’

Can you imagine uttering that phrase in the future? Yep.

“… transgenic mice with increased Setdb1 expression in adult forebrain neurons show antidepressant-like phenotypes in behavioral paradigms for anhedonia, despair and learned helplessness.”

SETDB1 is a protein that helps methylate lysine #9 on the histone H3 DNA binding protein … which leads to DNA CpG methylation … which leads to repression of the NMDA receptor subunit, NR2B/Grin2b … which leads to the anti-depressant-like phenotype.

Recall that 60% of CpGs are methylated and that, in the brain (unlike other terminally differentiated tissues), these methyl groups are popping on and off a lot … perhaps reflecting an ongoing, constant tuning of the inhibition/excitation balance.

thanks for the pic whaddap.

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Mood Broadcasting
Image by jurvetson via Flickr

Like many folks, I generally feel better ever since I started practicing yoga.  Outwardly, my body is (slowly) growing stronger and more flexible and perhaps (hopefully) soon, I’ll even lose a few pounds.  However, even if I was to convince myself that looked slimmer (skinny mirrors?), the only way to really know if I’ve lost weight, is to stand on a scale and record my weight each day (darn! no fatness lost so far).

That takes care of the body right – but what about the inner, emotional improvements I might be experiencing?  How to measure these?

Here are some mobile- and web-based tools to help one track one’s emotions.  Most of these websites, like Moodstats, Track Your Happiness, MoodJam, MoodMill, Finding Optimism and MoodLog seem to function as online diaries which keep a running tab on aspects of ones moods and emotions.  Perhaps such tools – if used over long durations – would enable one to verify a shift toward a less anxious and more contented inner feeling?  I don’t know.

Perhaps the real proof of “inner” progress would be that I had closed my computer and put away my mobile device and, rather, was outside enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.  Perhaps best to avoid mixing yoga and digital distractions.

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By Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007. The three ...
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File this story under “the more you know, the more you don’t know” or simply under “WTF!”  The new paper, “Microduplications of 16p11.2 are associated with schizophrenia” [doi:10.1038/ng.474] reveals that a short stretch of DNA on chromosome 16p11.2 is – very rarely – duplicated and – more rarely – deleted.  In an analysis of 8,590 individuals with schizophrenia, 2,172 with developmental delay or autism, 4,822 with bipolar disorder and 30,492 controls, the the microduplication of 16p11.2 was strongly associated with schizophrenia, bipolar and autism while the reciprocal microdeletion was strongly associated with developmental delay or autism – but not associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

OK, so the title of my post is misleading (hey, its a blog) since there are clearly many additional factors that contribute to the developmental outcome of autism vs. schizophrenia, but this stretch of DNA seems to hold clues about early development of brain systems that go awry in both disorders.  Here is a list of the brain expressed genes in this 600 kbp region (in order from telomere-side to centromere-side): SPN, QPRT, C16orf54, MAZ, PRRT2, C16orf53, MVP, CDIPT, SEZ6L2, ASPHD1, KCTD13, TMEM219, TAOK2, HIRIP3, INO80E, DOC2A, FLJ25404, FAM57B, ALDOA, PPP4C, TBX6, YPEL3, GDPD3, MAPK3, CORO1A.

Any guess as to which one(s) are the culprits?  I’ll go with HIRIP3 given its role in chromatin structure regulation – and the consequent regulation of under- (schiz?)/over- (autism) growth of synapses. What an amazing mystery to pursue.

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