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PSYB32 - Ch 2,3,4,5,6,7,9.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Connie Boudens

 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 reuptake  norepinephrine a neurotransmitter of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system is involved in producing states of high arousal and thus may be involved in anxiety disorders  both serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin may be involved in depression and dopamine in schitzo. GABA inhibits some nerve impulses and maybe involved in anxiety disorders  puberty in adolescents results in a decrease in serotonin and a decrease in dopamine activity in certain cortical areas  some of the theories linking neurotransmitters to psychopathology have proposed that a given disorder is caused by either too much or too little of a particular transmitter (mania results from too much norepinephrine and anxiety disorders from too little GABA)  neurotransmitters are synthesized in the neuron through a series if metabolic steps beginning with amino acid  too much or too little of a particular transmitter could result from an error in these metabolic pathways. Similar disturbances in the amounts of specific transmitters could result from alterations in the usual processes by which transmitters are deactivated after being released into the synapse
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