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1.  Preliminary Hormonal Correlations in Female Patients as a Function of Somatic and Neurological Symptom Clusters: An Exploratory Development of a Multi-Hormonal Map for Bio-Identical Replacement Therapy (MHRT) 
Females develop multiple hormonal alterations and certain genes may be involved in the intensity of subsequent symptoms including both mood and drug seeking. Seventy Four (74) females were included (mean age=60.23, SD=9.21, [43-87]). A medical evaluation was completed with hormone screening using a number of statistical analyses such as Pearson product moment; one way ANOVA and Regression analysis along with a Bonferroni significance correction p<.004. Of 120 correlations performed, significant hormone/domain correlations were as follows: DHEA/Genitourinary (r=.30, p<.05); FSH/Pulmonary (r=−.29, p<.05); Pregnenolone/Genitourinary (r=.40, p<.006) /Immunological (r=.38, p<.008); Testosterone/total endorsed symptoms (r=−0.34, p<.016); TSH/Pulmonary (r=−.33, p<.03) /Gynecological (r=.30, p<.05). Estrone/Musculoskeletal (r=−0.43, p<.012). After a Bonferroni correction (experiment-wise p<.00045) for statistical significance, no hormones remained significance. In the follow–up phase FSH/Neuropsychiatric (r=.56, p<.05) and Musculoskeletal (r=.67, p<.013); DHEA/Immunological (r=.64, p<.04); LH/ Musculoskeletal (r=.59, p<.34); Free Testosterone/Neuropsychiatric (r=.64, p<.019), Musculoskeletal (r=.68, p<.01), and Dermatologic (r=.57, p<.04); Total Testosterone/Immunological (r=.63, p<.028); TSH/Endocrinological (r=−.62, p<.031). Factor analysis of the MQ yielded two factors with eigenvalues > 1.0 (high loadings: first: Pulmonary, GI, Cardiovascular, and Immunological; second: Musculoskeletal, Gynecological, and the three Neurological domains). Both factors had significant correlations: first/pregnenolone (r=.37, p<.019); second/TSH (r=.33, p<.034). An additional factor analysis of hormone level clusters showed significant correlations with various domains. This study highlights the need to test the core biological endocrine hormones associated with females. Future research will focus on the relationship of for example Leptin and the electrophysiology of the brain. We are cautiously proposing a new paradigm shift whereby we replace the old nomenclature of HRT to MHRT.
doi:10.4172/2157-7412.1000206
PMCID: PMC4190039  PMID: 25309816
Female aging; Hormones; Women’s health; Two-factor analysis; HRT
2.  Menopause Analytical Hormonal Correlate Outcome Study (MAHCOS) and the Association to Brain Electrophysiology (P300) in a Clinical Setting 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e105048.
Various studies have demonstrated that increased leptin levels and obesity are inversely related to cognitive decline in menopausal women. It is hypothesized that adiposity is inversely correlated with cognitive decline, as women with increased weight are less vulnerable to diminishing cognition. However, it is increasingly observed that menopausal women, even with increased adiposity, experience significant cognitive decline. Positron emission tomography (PET) has been used to analyze cognitive function and processing in menopausal women. Evoked potentials (P300) and neurophysiologic tests have validated brain metabolism in cognitively impaired patients. Post-hoc analyses of 796 female patients entering PATH Medical Clinic, between January 4, 2009 and February 24, 2013, were performed as part of the “Menopause Analytical Hormonal Correlate Outcome Study” (MAHCOS). Patient age range was 39–76 years (46.7±0.2). P300 latency and amplitude correlated with a number of hormones: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, estrone, estriol, DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, free and total testosterone, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), Vitamins D 1.25 and D 25OH, leptin, and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGF-BP3). Corrected statistics did not reveal significant associations with P300 latency or amplitude for these hormones except for leptin plasma levels. However, factor analysis showed that FSH and LH clustered together with Vitamin D1.25 and Vitamin D25OH, P300 latency (not amplitude), and log leptin were found to be associated in the same cluster. Utilizing regression analysis, once age adjusted, leptin was the only significant predictor for latency or speed (p = 0.03) with an effect size of 0.23. Higher plasma leptin levels were associated with abnormal P300 speed (OR = 0.98). Our findings show a significant relationship of higher plasma leptin levels, potentially due to leptin resistance, and prolonged P300 latency. This suggests leptin resistance may delay electrophysiological processing of memory and attention, which appears to be the first of such an association.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105048
PMCID: PMC4174522  PMID: 25251414
4.  Hypothesizing Darkness Induced Alcohol Intake Linked to Dopaminergic Regulation of Brain Function 
Psychology (Irvine, Calif.)  2014;5(4):282-288.
Understanding the role of neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex and mesolimbic brain regions has become the subject of intensive neuroscience research worldwide. In the 1970s, our group provided evidence that rats exposed to darkness significantly augmented their alcohol intake. At that time, we proposed that melatonin was the culprit. At around the same time, our laboratory, amongst a few others, proposed that dopamine-adducts with acetaldehyde to induce alcohol intake both in rodents and in humans. While the work in these areas has declined considerably over the years, more recent scientifically sound studies continue to show the importance of these earlier controversial ideas involving alcohol abuse and alcoholism. A review of the literature has provided impetus to systematically access the newer genetic and molecular neurobiological findings relevant to the physiological and psychological motives for high alcohol consumption in animals and humans alike. Thus, we hypothesize that darkness-induced alcohol intake is linked not only to serotonergic-melatonin mechanisms, but also to dopaminergic regulation of brain mesolimbic pathways involving neuronal expression switching in response to long photoperiods affecting gene expression.
doi:10.4236/psych.2014.54038
PMCID: PMC4083566  PMID: 25009759
Photoperiod; alcohol intake; dopamine; reward pathway; serotonin and melatonin; nocturnal
5.  Early Intervention of Intravenous KB220IV- Neuroadaptagen Amino-Acid Therapy (NAAT)™ Improves Behavioral Outcomes in a Residential Addiction Treatment Program: A Pilot Study 
Journal of psychoactive drugs  2012;44(5):398-409.
Substance use disorders (SUD) are inheritable and the culprit is hypodopaminergic function regulated by reward genes. We evaluated a natural dopaminergic agonist; KB220 intravenous (IV) and oral variants, to improve dopaminergic function in SUD. Our pilot experiment found a significant reduction of chronic symptoms, measured by the Chronic Abstinence Symptom Severity (CASS) Scale. The combined group (IV and oral) did significantly better than the oral-only group over the first week and 30-day follow-up period. Next, the combination was given to129 subjects and three factors; Emotion, Somatic, and Impaired Cognition, with eigenvalues greater than one were extracted for baseline CASS-Revised (CASS-R) variables. Paired sample t-tests for pre and post-treatment scales showed significant declines (p = .00001) from pre- to post-treatment: t = 19.1 for Emotion, t = 16.1 for Somatic, and t = 14.9 for Impaired Cognition. In a two-year follow-up of 23 subjects who underwent KB220IV therapy (at least five IV treatments over seven days) plus orals for 30+ days: 21 (91%) were sober at six months, 19 (82%) having no relapse; 19 (82%) were sober at one year, 18 (78%) having no relapse; and 21 (91%) were sober two-years post-treatment, 16 (70%) having no relapse. We await additional research and advise caution in interpreting these encouraging results.
PMCID: PMC4074362  PMID: 23457891
Chronic Abstinence Symptom Severity (CASS) Scale; dopamine; KB220IV-neuroadaptagen amino-acid therapy (NAAT); reward deficiency syndrome (RDS)
6.  Low Dopamine Function in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Should Genotyping Signify Early Diagnosis in Children? 
Postgraduate medicine  2014;126(1):153-177.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is present in 8% to 12% of children, and 4% of adults worldwide. Children with ADHD can have learning impairments, poor self-esteem, social dysfunction, and an increased risk of substance abuse, including cigarette smoking. Overall, the rate of treatment with medication for patients with ADHD has been increasing since 2008, with > 2 million children now being treated with stimulants. The rise of adolescent prescription ADHD medication abuse has occurred along with a concomitant increase of stimulant medication availability. Of adults presenting with a substance use disorder (SUD), 20% to 30% have concurrent ADHD, and 20% to 40% of adults with ADHD have a history of SUD. Following a brief review of the etiology of ADHD, its diagnosis and treatment, we focus on the benefits of early and appropriate testing for a predisposition to ADHD. We suggest that by genotyping patients for a number of known, associated dopaminergic polymorphisms, especially at an early age, misdiagnoses and/or over-diagnosis can be reduced. Ethical and legal issues of early genotyping are considered. As many as 30% of individuals with ADHD are estimated to either have secondary side-effects or are not responsive to stimulant medication. We also consider the benefits of non-stimulant medication and alternative treatment modalities, which include diet, herbal medications, iron supplementation, and neurofeedback. With the goals of improving treatment of patients with ADHD and SUD prevention, we encourage further work in both genetic diagnosis and novel treatment approaches.
doi:10.3810/pgm.2014.01.2735
PMCID: PMC4074363  PMID: 24393762
genetics; attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; diagnosis; treatment; legal aspects of testing
8.  Managing Terrorism or Accidental Nuclear Errors, Preparing for Iodine-131 Emergencies: A Comprehensive Review 
Chernobyl demonstrated that iodine-131 (131I) released in a nuclear accident can cause malignant thyroid nodules to develop in children within a 300 mile radius of the incident. Timely potassium iodide (KI) administration can prevent the development of thyroid cancer and the American Thyroid Association (ATA) and a number of United States governmental agencies recommend KI prophylaxis. Current pre-distribution of KI by the United States government and other governments with nuclear reactors is probably ineffective. Thus we undertook a thorough scientific review, regarding emergency response to 131I exposures. We propose: (1) pre-distribution of KI to at risk populations; (2) prompt administration, within 2 hours of the incident; (3) utilization of a lowest effective KI dose; (4) distribution extension to at least 300 miles from the epicenter of a potential nuclear incident; (5) education of the public about dietary iodide sources; (6) continued post-hoc analysis of the long-term impact of nuclear accidents; and (7) support for global iodine sufficiency programs. Approximately two billion people are at risk for iodine deficiency disorder (IDD), the world’s leading cause of preventable brain damage. Iodide deficient individuals are at greater risk of developing thyroid cancer after 131I exposure. There are virtually no studies of KI prophylaxis in infants, children and adolescents, our target population. Because of their sensitivity to these side effects, we have suggested that we should extrapolate from the lowest effective adult dose, 15–30 mg or 1–2 mg per 10 pounds for children. We encourage global health agencies (private and governmental) to consider these critical recommendations.
doi:10.3390/ijerph110404158
PMCID: PMC4025043  PMID: 24739768
iodine-131 (131I); potassium iodide (KI); nuclear terrorism; accidental errors; uranium fission; children; plume radius
9.  Coupling Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS) with Electrotherapy: Fighting Iatrogenic Opioid Dependence 
The endemic of legal opioid iatrogenic induced prescription drug abuse is of major world-wide concern. Understanding pain pathways and the role of dopaminergic tone in the neurophysiology of pain relief provides potential therapeutic solutions. A 2011 NIDA report indicated that approximately 8.7% of the entire US population above the age of 12 years has used a psychoactive drug within the past 30 days. It has been reported that the overall genetic contribution to the variance of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) was approximately 60% but each candidate gene evaluated by GWAS was relatively small. In an attempt to combat this global endemic we are proposing a number of alternative strategies. Prevention of death due to opioid overdose and attenuation of prescription abuse should focus on strategies that target 1) high-dosage medical users; 2) persons who seek care from multiple doctors; 3) persons involved in “drug diversion”; 4) genetic testing for addiction liability and severity indices; 5) non-pharmacolgical analgesic treatments such as electrotherapy.
doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000163
PMCID: PMC3946872  PMID: 24616834
Pain; Analgesia; Electrotherapy; Genetic addiction risk score; Dopamine; Substance use disorder (SUD)
10.  “Cold” X5 Hairlaser™ used to treat male androgenic alopecia and hair growth: an uncontrolled pilot study 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:103.
Background
Various trials have been conducted on the management and treatment of androgenic alopecia (AGA) or male pattern hair loss using a variety of laser and light sources.
Methods
For this feasibility study, the population was composed of males between the ages of 20 and 60 years who have been experiencing active hair loss within the last 12 months and the diagnosis of AGA. They also had a Norwood-Hamilton classification of 3, 3A, 3 V, 4, 4A, or 5 for the hair thinning patterns and skin type I, II, III, or IV on the Fitzpatrick skin type scale. This two-arm randomized, parallel group study design employed stratifying randomization to balance treatment assignment within three investigational centers with at least 2 subjects enrolled in each Fitzpatrick skin type.
Results
A statistically significant positive trend in hair growth was observed from this pilot study, to evaluate the efficacy of the novel cold X5 hairlaser device for treating male androgenic alopecia. From the repeated measures analysis of variance, difference in mean hair counts over time was statistically significant (F = 7.70; p-value < 0.0001). Subsequent, linear regression of mean hair counts at each time point was performed, and post-hoc analysis found an increasing trend of hair growth over time that was statistically significant (p-value < 0.0001) with the estimated slope of 1.406. Increased hair counts from the baseline to the end of the 26-week period were found to be strongly significant (p-value = 0.0003).
Conclusion
Albeit, sham device failure and resultant missing data from the control group, the positive trend hair growth, was observed due to the chronic use of X5hairlaser device. This positive benefit while in full agreement with other low laser hair devices requires intensive further investigation.
Trial registration
NCT02067260
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-103
PMCID: PMC3974052  PMID: 24559020
Androgenic alopecia; Distributed laser light; Monochromatic light; Linear regression
11.  Withdrawal from Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Maintenance with a Natural Dopaminergic Agonist: A Cautionary Note 
Journal of addiction research & therapy  2013;4(2):10.4172/2155-6105.1000146.
Background
While numerous studies support the efficacy of methadone and buprenorphine for the stabilization and maintenance of opioid dependence, clinically significant opioid withdrawal symptoms occur upon tapering and cessation of dosage.
Methods
We present a case study of a 35 year old Caucasian female (Krissie) who was prescribed increasing dosages of prescription opioids after carpel tunnel surgery secondary to chronic pain from reflex sympathetic dystrophy and fibromyalgia. Over the next 5 years, daily dosage requirements increased to over 80 mg of Methadone and 300 ug/hr Fentanyl transdermal patches, along with combinations of 12–14 1600 mcg Actig lollipop and oral 100 mg Morphine and 30 mg oxycodone 1–2 tabs q4-6hr PRN for breakthrough pain. Total monthly prescription costs including supplemental benzodiazepines, hypnotics and stimulants exceeded $50,000. The patient was subsequently transferred to Suboxone® in 2008, and the dosage was gradually tapered until her admission for inpatient detoxification with KB220Z a natural dopaminergic agonist. We carefully documented her withdrawal symptoms when she precipitously stopped taking buprenorphine/naloxone and during follow-up while taking KB220Z daily. We also genotyped the patient using a reward gene panel including (9 genes 18 alleles): DRD 2,3,4; MOA-A; COMT; DAT1; 5HTTLLR; OPRM1; and GABRA3.
Findings
At 432 days post Suboxone® withdrawal the patient is being maintained on KB220Z, has been urine tested and is opioid free. Genotyping data revealed a moderate genetic risk for addiction showing a hypodopaminergic trait. This preliminary case data suggest that the daily use of KB220Z could provide a cost effective alternative substitution adjunctive modality for Suboxone®. We encourage double-blind randomized –placebo controlled studies to test the proposition that KB220Z may act as a putative natural opioid substitution maintenance adjunct.
doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000146
PMCID: PMC3835595  PMID: 24273683
Buprenorphine/naloxone; Withdrawal; Natural dopaminergic agonist
12.  Declinol, a Complex Containing Kudzu, Bitter Herbs (Gentian, Tangerine Peel) and Bupleurum, Significantly Reduced Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) Scores in Moderate to Heavy Drinkers: A Pilot Study 
It is well established that inherited human aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH-2) deficiency reduces the risk for alcoholism. Kudzu plants and extracts have been used for 1,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat alcoholism. Kudzu contains daidzin, which inhibits ALDH-2 and suppresses heavy drinking in rodents. Decreased drinking due to ALDH-2 inhibition is attributed to aversive properties of acetaldehyde accumulated during alcohol consumption. However not all of the anti-alcohol properties of diadzin are due to inhibition of ALDH-2. This is in agreement with our earlier work showing significant interaction effects of both pyrozole (ALDH-2 inhibitor) and methyl-pyrozole (non-inhibitor) and ethanol’s depressant effects. Moreover, it has been suggested that selective ALDH 2 inhibitors reduce craving for alcohol by increasing dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). In addition there is significant evidence related to the role of the genetics of bitter receptors (TAS2R) and its stimulation as an aversive mechanism against alcohol intake. The inclusion of bitters such as Gentian & Tangerine Peel in Declinol provides stimulation of gut TAS2R receptors which is potentially synergistic with the effects of Kudzu. Finally the addition of Radix Bupleuri in the Declinol formula may have some protective benefits not only in terms of ethanol induced liver toxicity but neurochemical actions involving endorphins, dopamine and epinephrine. With this information as a rationale, we report herein that this combination significantly reduced Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores administered to ten heavy drinkers (M=8, F=2; 43.2 ± 14.6 years) attending a recovery program. Specifically, from the pre-post comparison of the AUD scores, it was found that the score of every participant decreased after the intervention which ranged from 1 to 31. The decrease in the scores was found to be statistically significant with the p-value of 0.00298 (two-sided paired test; p-value = 0.00149 for one-sided test). Albeit this being a small pilot, we are encouraged about these significant results, and caution any interpretation until larger controlled studies are executed.
doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000153
PMCID: PMC3835486  PMID: 24273684
Declinol; Kudzu; Daidzin; ALDH 2 inhibitors; Dopamine; Gentian and tangerine peel; Radix burpleuri; Alcoholism and reward deficiency
13.  Nutrigenomic targeting of carbohydrate craving behavior: Can we manage obesity and aberrant craving behaviors with neurochemical pathway manipulation by Immunological Compatible Substances (nutrients) using a Genetic Positioning System (GPS) Map? 
Medical hypotheses  2009;73(3):427-434.
SUMMARY
Genetic mediated physiological processes that rely on both pharmacological and nutritional principles hold great promise for the successful therapeutic targeting of reduced carbohydrate craving, body-friendly fat loss, healthy body recomposition, and overall wellness. By integrating an assembly of scientific knowledge on inheritable characteristics and environmental mediators of gene expression, we review the relationship of genes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and nutrients as they correct unwanted weight gain coupled with unhappiness. In contrast to a simple one-locus, one-mechanism focus on pharmaceuticals alone, we hypothesize that the use of nutrigenomic treatment targeting multi-physiological neurological, immunological, and metabolic pathways will enable clinicians to intercede in the process of lipogenesis by promoting lipolysis while attenuating aberrant glucose cravings. In turn, this approach will enhance wellness in a safe and predictable manner through the use of a Genetic Positioning System (GPS) Map. The GPS Map, while presently incomplete, ultimately will serve not only as a blueprint for personalized medicine in the treatment of obesity, but also for the development of strategies for reducing many harmful addictive behaviors and promoting optimal health by using substances compatible with the body’s immune system.
doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.02.037
PMCID: PMC3758908  PMID: 19450935
14.  Neurogenetics and Nutrigenomics of Neuro-Nutrient Therapy for Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): Clinical Ramifications as a Function of Molecular Neurobiological Mechanisms 
In accord with the new definition of addiction published by American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) it is well-known that individuals who present to a treatment center involved in chemical dependency or other documented reward dependence behaviors have impaired brain reward circuitry. They have hypodopaminergic function due to genetic and/or environmental negative pressures upon the reward neuro-circuitry. This impairment leads to aberrant craving behavior and other behaviors such as Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Neurogenetic research in both animal and humans revealed that there is a well-defined cascade in the reward site of the brain that leads to normal dopamine release. This cascade has been termed the “Brain Reward Cascade” (BRC). Any impairment due to either genetics or environmental influences on this cascade will result in a reduced amount of dopamine release in the brain reward site. Manipulation of the BRC has been successfully achieved with neuro-nutrient therapy utilizing nutrigenomic principles. After over four decades of development, neuro-nutrient therapy has provided important clinical benefits when appropriately utilized. This is a review, with some illustrative case histories from a number of addiction professionals, of certain molecular neurobiological mechanisms which if ignored may lead to clinical complications.
doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000139
PMCID: PMC3733258  PMID: 23926462
Neuro-nutrient therapy; Neuroadaptagen Amino-Acid Therapy™ (NAAT); Brain reward circuitry; Reward Deficiency Syndrome(RDS); Neurogenetics; Nutrigenomics; Dopamine; Reward Genes
15.  Can the chronic administration of the combination of buprenorphine and naloxone block dopaminergic activity causing anti-reward and relapse potential? 
Molecular neurobiology  2011;44(3):250-268.
Opiate addiction is associated with many adverse health and social harms, fatal overdose, infectious disease transmission, elevated health care costs, public disorder, and crime. Although community-based addiction treatment programs continue to reduce the harms of opiate addiction with narcotic substitution therapy such as methadone maintenance, there remains a need to find a substance that not only blocks opiate-type receptors (mu, delta, etc.) but also provides agonistic activity; hence the impetus arose for the development of a combination of narcotic antagonism and mu receptor agonist therapy. After three decades of extensive research the federal Drug Abuse Treatment Act 2000 (DATA) opened a window of opportunity for patients with addiction disorders by providing increased access to options for treatment. DATA allows physicians who complete a brief specialty-training course to become certified to prescribe buprenorphine and buprenorphine/naloxone (Subutex, Suboxone) for treatment of patients with opioid dependence. Clinical studies indicate buprenorphine maintenance is as effective as methadone maintenance in retaining patients in substance abuse treatment and in reducing illicit opioid use. With that stated, we must consider the long-term benefits or potential toxicity attributed to Subutex or Suboxone. We describe a mechanism whereby chronic blockade of opiate receptors, in spite of only partial opiate agonist action, may ultimately block dopaminergic activity causing anti-reward and relapse potential. While the direct comparison is not as yet available, toxicity to buprenorphine can be found in the scientific literature. In considering our cautionary note in this commentary, we are cognizant that to date this is what we have available, and until such a time when the real magic bullet is discovered, we will have to endure. However, more than anything else this commentary should at least encourage the development of thoughtful new strategies to target the specific brain regions responsible for relapse prevention.
doi:10.1007/s12035-011-8206-0
PMCID: PMC3682495  PMID: 21948099
16.  Neuropsychopharmacology and Neurogenetic Aspects of Executive Functioning: Should Reward Gene Polymorphisms Constitute a Diagnostic Tool to Identify Individuals at Risk for Impaired Judgment? 
Molecular neurobiology  2012;45(2):298-313.
Executive functions are processes that act in harmony to control behaviors necessary for maintaining focus and achieving outcomes. Executive dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders is attributed to structural or functional pathology of brain networks involving prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its connections with other brain regions. The PFC receives innervations from different neurons associated with a number of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine (DA). Here we review findings on the contribution of PFC DA to higher-order cognitive and emotional behaviors. We suggest examination of multifactorial interactions of an individual’s genetic history, along with environmental risk factors, can assist in the characterization of executive functioning for that individual. Based upon the results of genetic studies we also propose genetic mapping as a probable diagnostic tool serving as a therapeutic adjunct for augmenting executive functioning capabilities. We conclude that preservation of the neurological underpinnings of executive functions requires the integrity of complex neural systems including the influence of specific genes and associated polymorphisms to provide adequate neurotransmission.
doi:10.1007/s12035-012-8247-z
PMCID: PMC3681950  PMID: 22371275
Executive functions; dopamine; prefrontal cortex; genetics; Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)
17.  Neurogentics of Dopaminergic Receptor Super-sensitivity in Activation of Brain Reward Circuitry and Relapse: Proposing “Deprivation-Amplification Relapse Therapy” (DART) 
Postgraduate medicine  2009;121(6):176-196.
Background and Hypothesis
It is well known that after prolonged abstinence, individuals who imbibe or use their drug of choice experience a powerful euphoria that precipitates serious relapse. While a biological explanation for this conundrum has remained elusive, we hypothesize that this clinically observed “super sensitivity” might be tied to genetic dopaminergic polymorphisms. Another therapeutic conundrum relates to the paradoxical finding that the dopaminergic agonist bromocriptine induces stronger activation of brain reward circuitry in individuals who carry the DRD2 A1 allele compared to DRD2 A2 allele carriers. Based upon the fact that carriers of the A1 allele relative to the A2 allele of the DRD2 gene have significantly lower D2 receptor density, a reduced sensitivity to dopamine agonist activity would be expected in the former. Thus, it is perplexing that with low D2 density there is an increase in reward sensitivity with the dopamine agonist bromocriptine. Moreover, under chronic or long-term therapy, the potential proliferation of D2 receptors with bromocriptine has been shown in vitro. This seems to lead to a positive outcome and significantly better treatment compliance only in A1 carriers.
Proposal and Conclusion
We propose that low D2 receptor density and polymorphisms of the D2 gene are associated with risk for relapse of substance abuse including alcohol dependence, heroin craving, cocaine dependence, methamphetamine abuse, nicotine sensitization, and glucose craving. With this in mind, we suggest a putative physiological mechanism that may help to explain the enhanced sensitivity following intense acute dopaminergic D2 receptor activation: “denervation supersensitivity.” Thus, the administration of dopamine D2 agonists would target D2 sensitization and attenuate relapse, especially in D2 receptor A1 allele carriers. This hypothesized mechanism is supported by clinical trials utilizing the amino-acid neurotransmitter precursors, enkephalinase and catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) enzyme inhibition, which have resulted in attenuated relapse rates in Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) probands. Future warranted translational research with positive outcome showing prevented or lower relapse in RDS will ultimately support the proposed concept, which we term “Deprivation-Amplification Relapse Therapy (DART).”
doi:10.3810/pgm.2009.11.2087
PMCID: PMC3656125  PMID: 19940429
18.  Evoked Potentials and Neuropsychological Tests Validate Positron Emission Topography (PET) Brain Metabolism in Cognitively Impaired Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e55398.
Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) Positron Emission Topography (PET) brain hypometabolism (HM) correlates with diminished cognitive capacity and risk of developing dementia. However, because clinical utility of PET is limited by cost, we sought to determine whether a less costly electrophysiological measure, the P300 evoked potential, in combination with neuropsychological test performance, would validate PET HM in neuropsychiatric patients. We found that patients with amnestic and non-amnestic cognitive impairment and HM (n = 43) evidenced significantly reduced P300 amplitudes, delayed latencies, and neuropsychological deficits, compared to patients with normal brain metabolism (NM; n = 187). Data from patients with missing cognitive test scores (n = 57) were removed from the final sample, and logistic regression modeling was performed on the modified sample (n = 173, p = .000004). The logistic regression modeling, based on P300 and neuropsychological measures, was used to validate membership in the HM vs. NM groups. It showed classification validation in 13/25 HM subjects (52.0%) and in 125/148 NM subjects (84.5%), correlating with total classification accuracy of 79.8%. In this paper, abnormal P300 evoked potentials coupled with cognitive test impairment validates brain metabolism and mild/moderate cognitive impairment (MCI). To this end, we cautiously propose incorporating electrophysiological and neuropsychological assessments as cost-effective brain metabolism and MCI indicators in primary care. Final interpretation of these results must await required additional studies confirming these interesting results.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055398
PMCID: PMC3604004  PMID: 23526928
19.  Exoproteome and Secretome Derived Broad Spectrum Novel Drug and Vaccine Candidates in Vibrio cholerae Targeted by Piper betel Derived Compounds 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e52773.
Vibrio cholerae is the causal organism of the cholera epidemic, which is mostly prevalent in developing and underdeveloped countries. However, incidences of cholera in developed countries are also alarming. Because of the emergence of new drug-resistant strains, even though several generic drugs and vaccines have been developed over time, Vibrio infections remain a global health problem that appeals for the development of novel drugs and vaccines against the pathogen. Here, applying comparative proteomic and reverse vaccinology approaches to the exoproteome and secretome of the pathogen, we have identified three candidate targets (ompU, uppP and yajC) for most of the pathogenic Vibrio strains. Two targets (uppP and yajC) are novel to Vibrio, and two targets (uppP and ompU) can be used to develop both drugs and vaccines (dual targets) against broad spectrum Vibrio serotypes. Using our novel computational approach, we have identified three peptide vaccine candidates that have high potential to induce both B- and T-cell-mediated immune responses from our identified two dual targets. These two targets were modeled and subjected to virtual screening against natural compounds derived from Piper betel. Seven compounds were identified first time from Piper betel to be highly effective to render the function of these targets to identify them as emerging potential drugs against Vibrio. Our preliminary validation suggests that these identified peptide vaccines and betel compounds are highly effective against Vibrio cholerae. Currently we are exhaustively validating these targets, candidate peptide vaccines, and betel derived lead compounds against a number of Vibrio species.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052773
PMCID: PMC3559646  PMID: 23382822
20.  Neuropsychiatric Genetics of Happiness, Friendships, and Politics: Hypothesizing Homophily (“Birds of a Feather Flock Together”) as a Function of Reward Gene Polymorphisms 
Mindful of the new evolutionary ideas related to an emerging scientific focus known as omics, we propose that spiritual, social, and political behaviors may be tied in part to inheritable reward gene polymorphisms, as has been demonstrated for the addictions. If so, analyses of gene polymorphisms may assist in predicting liberalism or conservatism in partisan attachments. For example, both drinking (alcohol) and obesity seem to cluster in large social networks and are influenced by friends having the same genotype, in particular the DRD2 A1 allele. Likewise, voting, voting turnout and attachment to a particular political ideology is differentially related to various reward genes (e.g., 5HTT, MOA, DRD2, and DRD4), possibly predicting liberalism or conservatism. Moreover, voters’ genetic information may predict presidential outcomes more than the actual issues at hand or the presidential candidates themselves. Thus, political discussions on TV, radio, or other media may be morphed by one’s reward gene polymorphisms and as such, may explain the prevalence of generations of die-hard republicans and equally entrenched democratic legacies. Indeed, even in politics, birds of a feather (homophily) flock together. We caution that our proposal should be viewed mindfully awaiting additional research before definitive statements or conclusions can be derived from the studies to date, and we encourage large scale studies to confirm these earlier reports.
doi:10.4172/2157-7412.1000112
PMCID: PMC3547641  PMID: 23336089
Liberalism; Conservatism; Politics; Friendships; Happiness; Reward Gene Polymorphisms
21.  Measuring Adiposity in Patients: The Utility of Body Mass Index (BMI), Percent Body Fat, and Leptin 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e33308.
Background
Obesity is a serious disease that is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, among other diseases. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates a 20% obesity rate in the 50 states, with 12 states having rates of over 30%. Currently, the body mass index (BMI) is most commonly used to determine adiposity. However, BMI presents as an inaccurate obesity classification method that underestimates the epidemic and contributes to failed treatment. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of precise biomarkers and duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to help diagnose and treat obesity.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A cross-sectional study of adults with BMI, DXA, fasting leptin and insulin results were measured from 1998–2009. Of the participants, 63% were females, 37% were males, 75% white, with a mean age = 51.4 (SD = 14.2). Mean BMI was 27.3 (SD = 5.9) and mean percent body fat was 31.3% (SD = 9.3). BMI characterized 26% of the subjects as obese, while DXA indicated that 64% of them were obese. 39% of the subjects were classified as non-obese by BMI, but were found to be obese by DXA. BMI misclassified 25% men and 48% women. Meanwhile, a strong relationship was demonstrated between increased leptin and increased body fat.
Conclusions/Significance
Our results demonstrate the prevalence of false-negative BMIs, increased misclassifications in women of advancing age, and the reliability of gender-specific revised BMI cutoffs. BMI underestimates obesity prevalence, especially in women with high leptin levels (>30 ng/mL). Clinicians can use leptin-revised levels to enhance the accuracy of BMI estimates of percentage body fat when DXA is unavailable.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033308
PMCID: PMC3317663  PMID: 22485140
22.  Neuro-psychopharmacogenetics and Neurological Antecedents of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Unlocking the Mysteries of Resilience and Vulnerability 
Current Neuropharmacology  2010;8(4):335-358.
Background and Hypothesis:
Although the biological underpinnings of immediate and protracted trauma-related responses are extremely complex, 40 years of research on humans and other mammals have demonstrated that trauma (particularly trauma early in the life cycle) has long-term effects on neurochemical responses to stressful events. These effects include the magnitude of the catecholamine response and the duration and extent of the cortisol response. In addition, a number of other biological systems are involved, including mesolimbic brain structures and various neurotransmitters. An understanding of the many genetic and environmental interactions contributing to stress-related responses will provide a diagnostic and treatment map, which will illuminate the vulnerability and resilience of individuals to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Proposal and Conclusions:
We propose that successful treatment of PTSD will involve preliminary genetic testing for specific polymorphisms. Early detection is especially important, because early treatment can improve outcome. When genetic testing reveals deficiencies, vulnerable individuals can be recommended for treatment with “body friendly” pharmacologic substances and/or nutrients. Results of our research suggest the following genes should be tested: serotoninergic, dopaminergic (DRD2, DAT, DBH), glucocorticoid, GABAergic (GABRB), apolipoprotein systems (APOE2), brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Monamine B, CNR1, Myo6, CRF-1 and CRF-2 receptors, and neuropeptide Y (NPY). Treatment in part should be developed that would up-regulate the expression of these genes to bring about a feeling of well being as well as a reduction in the frequency and intensity of the symptoms of PTSD.
doi:10.2174/157015910793358123
PMCID: PMC3080591  PMID: 21629442
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); genes and environment; neurotransmitters; Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS).
23.  Test of variables of attention (TOVA) as a predictor of early attention complaints, an antecedent to dementia 
The goal of this study was to determine if impairments detected by the test of variables of attention (TOVA) may be used to predict early attention complaints and memory impairments accurately in a clinical setting. We performed a statistical analysis of outcomes in a patient population screened for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or attention complaints, processing errors as measured by TOVA and the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-III) results. Attention deficit disorder (ADD) checklists, constructed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition criteria, which were completed by patients at PATH Medical, revealed that 72.8% of the patients had more than one attention complaint out of a total of 16 complaints, and 41.5% had more than five complaints. For the 128 males with a significant number of ADD complaints, individuals whose scores were significantly deviant or borderline (SDB) on TOVA, had a significantly greater number of attention complaints compared with normals for omissions (P < 0.02), response time (P < 0.015), and variability (P < 0.005), but not commissions (P > 0.50). For males, the mean scores for auditory, visual, immediate, and working memory scores as measured by the WMS-III were significantly greater for normals versus SDBs on the TOVA subtest, ie, omission (P < 0.01) and response time (P < 0.05), but not variability or commissions. The means for auditory, visual, and immediate memory scores were significantly greater for normals versus SDBs for variability (P < 0.045) only. In females, the mean scores for visual and working memory scores were significantly greater for normals versus SDBs for omissions (P < 0.025). The number of SDB TOVA quarters was a significant predictor for “impaired” or “normal” group membership for visual memory (P < 0.015), but not for the other three WMS-III components. For males, the partial correlation between the number of attention complaints and the number of SDB TOVA quarters was also significant (r = 0.251, P < 0.005). For the 152 females with a significant number of attention complaints, no significant differences between SDBs and normals were observed (P > 0.15). This is the first report, to our knowledge, which provides evidence that TOVA is an accurate predictor of early attention complaints and memory impairments in a clinical setting. This finding is more robust for males than for females between the ages of 40 and 90 years.
doi:10.2147/NDT.S12243
PMCID: PMC2987500  PMID: 21127685
attention complaints; dementia; TOVA; Wechsler Memory Scale
24.  Adult growth hormone deficiency treatment with a combination of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 resulting in elevated sustainable insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 plasma levels: a case report 
Introduction
Adult Growth hormone Deficiency is a well known phenomenon effecting both males and females. Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency is marked by a number of neuropsychiatric, cognitive performance, cardiac, metabolic, muscular, and bone symptoms and clinical features. There is no known standardized acceptable therapeutic modality to treat this condition. A recent meta-analysis found that after 16 years of Growth Hormone replacement therapy a large proportion of the patients still had Growth Hormone associated symptoms especially related to executive functioning. A major goal is to increase plasma levels of both insulin-like growth factor (insulin-like growth factor-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3.
Case Presentation
We report a case of a 45-year-old caucasian woman with early ovarian failure for 2 years and amenorrhea since the age of 43, who presented with Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency and an IGF-1 of 126 ng/mL. Since her insulin-like growth factor-1 was lowest at 81 ng/mL, she was started on insulin-like growth factor-1 Increlex at 0.2 mg at bedtime, which immediately raised her insulin-like growth factor-1 levels to 130 ng/mL within 1 month, and 193 ng/mL, 249 ng/mL, and 357 ng/mL, after 3, 4, and 5 months, respectively, thereafter. Her insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 continued to decrease. It was at this point when we added back the Growth Hormone and increased her Increlex dosage to 1.3 - 1.5 mg that her insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 began to increase.
Conclusion
It appears that in some patients with Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency, insulin-like growth factor-1 elevation is resistant to direct Growth Hormone treatment. Furthermore, the binding protein may not rise with insulin-like growth factor-1. However, a combination of Growth Hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 treatment may be a solution.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-4-305
PMCID: PMC2955054  PMID: 20843352
25.  Healing enhancement of chronic venous stasis ulcers utilizing H-WAVE® device therapy: a case series 
Cases Journal  2010;3:54.
Introduction
Approximately 15% (more than 2 million individuals, based on these estimates) of all people with diabetes will develop a lower-extremity ulcer during the course of the disease. Ultimately, between 14% and 20% of patients with lower-extremity diabetic ulcers will require amputation of the affected limb. Analysis of the 1995 Medicare claims revealed that lower-extremity ulcer care accounted for $1.45 billion in Medicare costs. Therapies that promote rapid and complete healing and reduce the need for expensive surgical procedures would impact these costs substantially. One such example is the electrotherapeutic modality utilizing the H-Wave® device therapy and program.
It has been recently shown in acute animal experiments that the H-Wave® device stimulation induces a nitric oxide-dependent increase in microcirculation of the rat Cremaster skeletal muscle. Moreover, chronic H-wave® device stimulation of rat hind limbs not only increases blood flow but induces measured angiogenesis. Coupling these findings strongly suggests that H-Wave® device stimulation promotes rapid and complete healing without need of expensive surgical procedures.
Case presentation
We decided to do a preliminary evaluation of the H-Wave® device therapy and program in three seriously afflicted diabetic patients. Patient 1 had chronic venous stasis for 6 years. Patient 2 had chronic recurrent leg ulcerations. Patient 3 had a chronic venous stasis ulcer for 2 years. All were dispensed a home H-Wave® unit. Patient 1 had no other treatment, patient 2 had H-Wave® therapy along with traditional compressive therapy, and patient 3 had no other therapy.
For patient 1, following treatment the ulcer completely healed with the H-Wave® device and program after 3 months. For patient 2, by one month complete ulcer closure occurred. Patient 3 had a completely healed ulcer after 9 months.
Conclusions
While most diabetic ulcers can be treated successfully on an outpatient basis, a significant proportion will persist and become infected. Based on this preliminary case series investigation we found that three patients prescribed H-Wave® home treatment demonstrate accelerated healing with excellent results. While these results are encouraging, additional large scale investigation is warranted before any interpretation is given to these interesting outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-3-54
PMCID: PMC2831833  PMID: 20181141

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