PSY 3132 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Mania, Caudate Nucleus, Clozapine

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25 Jan 2013
Molecular Genetics
Tries to specify the particular gene or genes involved and the precise functions of these genes
Each cell consists of 46 chromosomes (23) pairs with thousands of genes per chromosome. The term allele refers
to any one of several DNA codings that occupy the same position or location on a chromosome. A persons
genotype is their set of alleles
The term genetic polymorphism refers to variability among members of the species. It involves differences in the
DNA sequence that can manifest in very dif forms among members of the same habitat. It entails mutations in a
chromosome that can be induced or naturally occurring
It was discovered in 2004 with research on male meadow voles that manipulating a gene, the vasopressin receptor
by locating it in the reward centre of the brain had the effect of making an amorous promiscuous vole into a
monogamous vole. Its possible a similar process determines whether humans refrain from having more than 1
Linkage analysis is a method in molecular genetics hat is used to study ppl. Use this method in families in which
a disorder is heavily concentrated
they collect diagnostic info and blood samples from affected indiv and their relatives and use them to study the
inheritance patter of characteristics whose genetics are fully understood referred to as genetic markers ex: eye
colour is controlled by a gene in a specific location on a specific chromosome
it is concluded that the gene predisposing indi to the psychopathology is on the same chromosome and in similar
location on that chromate (its linked) as the gene controlling the other chracterticsi
linkage analysis in t.o found association btwn obsessive compulsive disorder and the gamma aminobutyric acid
(GABA) type B receptor 1 (GABBR1) gene
greatest success is to identify genes that are imp in alzhinermers
study of genetic linkage in adolescents and young adults indicated that a locus on chromosome 9 is associated
with enhanced risk for externalizing psychopathology (aggression and conduct disorder)
gene environment interactions – notion that a disorder or related symptoms are the joint product of a genetic
vulnerability and specific environmental experiences or conditions
Neuroscience and biochemistry in the Nervous system
the NS is composed of billions of neurons
neurons diff in some ways each neuron has four major parts: 1) the cell body 2) several dendrites 3) three or
more axons of varying lengths 4) terminal buttons on many end branches of the axon
when a neuron is stimulated at its cell body or through its dendrites a nerve impulse which is a change in the
electric potential of the cell travels down the axon to the terminal endings
between the terminal endings f the sending axon and the cell membrane of the receiving neuron there is a small
gap called the synapse
for a nerve impulse to pass from one neuron to another and for communication to occur the impulse must have a
way of bridging the synaptic gap
the terminal buttons of each axon contain synaptic vesicles, small structures that are filled with
neurotransmitters, chemical substances that allow a nerve impulse to release molecules of their transmitter
substances and these molecules flood the synapses and diffuse toward the receiving or postsynaptic neuron
the cell membrane of the postsynaptic cell contains proteins called receptor sites that are configured so that
specific neurotransmitters can fit into them
when a neurotransmitter fits into a receptor site a message can be sent to the postsynaptic cell. What actually
happens to the postsynaptic neuron depends on its integrating thousands of similar messages
sometimes the messages are excitatory leading to the creation of a nerve impulse in the postsynaptic cell at other
times the messages can be inhibitory making the postsynaptic cell less likely to fire
once a presynaaptic neuron (the sending neuron) has released its neurotransmitter the last step is for the synapse
to be returned to its normal state
not all of the released neurotransmitter has found its way to postsynaptic receptors. Some of what remains in the
synapses is broken down by enzymes and some is pumped back into the presynaptic cell through a process called
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