How mutation functions in the brain, affects anxiety and sociality: Study
Title description, 2022-08-08
August 8, 2022
New research using genome editing technology has allowed scientists to create a model and assess a gene mutation associated with neuropsychiatric disorders in humans. The study has revealed how the mutation functions in the brain and affects anxiety and sociality.
Monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine play important roles in our cognitive and emotional functions. Their evolutionary origins date back to metazoans, and while the function of related genes is strongly evolutionarily conserved, genetic variation within and between species has been reported to have a significant impact on animal mental characteristics such as sociality, aggression, anxiety, and depression.
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A research group led by Dr Daiki Sato and Professor Masakado Kawata has previously reported that the vesicular monoamine transporter 1 (VMAT1) gene, which transports neurotransmitters to secretory vesicles in neurons and secretory cells, has evolved through natural selection during human evolution. In particular, the 136th amino acid locus of this gene has evolved in the human lineage from asparagine (Asn) to threonine (Thr), and moreover, a new allele (isoleucine, Ile) has emerged and increased in its frequencies around the world. Previous reports suggested that people with the Ile genotype are less prone to depression and anxiety than those with the Thr genotype, but it was unclear how these human-specific mutations function in the brain and lead to changes in neuropsychiatric behavior.
In this study, Sato, Kawata (Tohoku University),Yukiko U. Inoue (National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry), and their colleagues prepared Vmat1 gene-edited mice in which the 136th amino acid locus was replaced with the human genotype (Thr or Ile) via genome editing technology, and compared gene expression, neural activity, and behavior among genotypes. The Ile-type mice showed decreased levels of anxiety-like behaviors, consistent with human studies. In addition, the genotype affected post-synaptic gene expression and neural activity in the amygdala, a brain region involved in emotional regulation. The functional role of the VMAT1 gene in the central nervous system remains unclear, and this study may provide a steppingstone toward elucidating its molecular mechanisms. Moreover, there are few studies in which the effects of single amino acid substitutions under natural selection during human evolution have been verified using genome editing technology. This study demonstrates the functional importance of human-specific variants in the regulatory circuits of neurotransmitters involved in cognitive and emotional functions and is expected to shed light on the pathogenic mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Ayurveda expert on signs of health trouble in women post 30
Title description, 2022-08-07
August 7, 2022
At 30, you have usually grown out of your insecurities and perhaps at a better place as far as your relationships and work is concerned. You may have achieved a part of what you have aimed at in life and perhaps more content than before, but this is also the time when your faulty lifestyle choices start to manifest as health problems and you require regular health check-ups in order to maintain optimal health. (Also read: Ayurveda expert on easy tips to improve eye health)
As you are entrusted with more and more responsibilities with time and get lesser time for recreation and rejuvenation, your health may take a backseat. Women may face a unique set of health issues as they touch 30 from hormonal trouble to nutritional deficiencies.
Ayurveda expert Dr Nitika Kohli on common signs of health trouble in women after the age of 30.
Weight that refuses to go away: The extra weight around your belly especially could indicate visceral fat and must be get rid of to avoid chronic health issues later in your life. This could also mean your metabolism is not same as before. Hormonal imbalance could also lead to weight gain. Making healthy lifestyle changes could help.
Persistent hair loss due to lack of important nutrients: This is a sign that you should upgrade your diet to suit the requirements of your body. Check for nutritional deficiencies of protein, fatty acids and zinc. Also avoid going on a fad diet.
Trouble in getting pregnant: After 30, one may also face troubles in conceiving as the fertility goes down and the risk of complications goes up. Women who are above 35 also have a risk of complications due to diabetes and high blood pressure.
Changes in menstrual cycle: Women in their 30s could develop conditions like endometriosis or uterine fibroids which could lead to changes in their menstrual cycle.
Respiratory issues: After 35 years of age, our lung function can decline naturally and this could create problem in some people. It is important to take care of your lung and do breathing exercises as you age.