Biological Basis of Psychology
Biological Basis of Psychology
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Date Created: 06/05/14
Tuesday May 20 2014 Biopsychology Week 8 Lecture 12 Neuropsychiatric Disorders The majority of neuropsychiatric disorders are associated with a disregulation in neurotransmission ie a chemical imbalance in the brain thus one of the biological approaches to treating neuropsychiatric disorders is via pharmacotherapy the use of pharmaceutical agents or drugs to treat illness The principles of pharmacotherapy are simple if neurotransmission is suspected to be low then elevate it if neurotransmission is suspected to be high then lower it The challenge of pharmacotherapy for neuropsychiatric disorders is finding a drug that crosses the blood brain barrier does not produce tolerance to the neuropsychiatric effects produces minimal side effects undesireable effects Drug effects Agonist and Antagonist help to provide treatmenteffects the brain agonist increasesfacilitate the neurotransmission can increase production of neurotransmitters activate more release of neurotransmitters block degradation of neurotransmitters in synapse block reuptake or have an affinity with receptors and provide a response similar to that of the neurotransmitters Antagonist decrease the neurotransmission of neurotransmitters can lower production of neurotransmitter lessen the release of neurotransmitters degrade neurotransmitters in synapse or block the receptors from binding with neurotransmitters Affective Disorders Categories of Affective Disorders Tuesday May 20 2014 Major Clinical Depression characterized by a severely depressed mood that persists for at least two weeks and that is not the result of normal bereavement There are a wide range of subtypes including depression with melancholic features atypical features and psychotic features reactive depression triggered by a negative experience endogenous depression no apparent cause Bipolar disorder characterized by periods of extreme often inappropriate and sometimes unpredictable mood states Bipolar individuals generally experience mania hypomania or mixed states alternating with clinical depression and the alternating moods which can change quickly many times a day or last for months Etiology of Affective Disorders Causes genetic the National Institute of Mental Health declared that major depression is thought to be 4070 percent heritable seasonal disorders depression can occur when the days shorten It may have to do with the production of melatonin Psychological factors low self esteem and selfdefeating or distorted thinking are connected with depression Stressful life events negative events can trigger depression such as the death of or rejection by a loved one being mentally or physically abused financial difficulties jobrelated stress unemployment addictions etc medical conditions certain illnesses like heart disease can lead to depression diet the increase in depression in industrialized societies has been linked to diet particularly to reduced levels of omega 3 fatty acids in intensively farmed food and processed foods alcohol and other drugs misuse of alcohol benzodiazepinebased tranquilizers and sleeping medications can all play a major role in the length and severity of depression Theories of Affective Disorders Monoamine Theory of Depression that depression is associated with the under activity at serotonergic and noradrenegic synapses Tuesday May 20 2014 DiathesisStress Model of Depression that depression is the result of a genetic predisposition that interacts with stress early in life leaving the person permanently sensitized to mild stressors for the rest of their lives Depressed people tend to release more stress hormones glucocorticoids through the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal axis Treatment for Affective Disorders Medications Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors MAOls inhibits the enzyme monoamine oxidase which breaks down seratonin norepinephrine and dopamine Ex Marplan Nardil Parnate Tricyclics inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine serotonin andor dopamine Ex Elavil Wellbutrin Aventyl Ludiomil Norpramin Selective Serotonin Fleuptake Inhibitors SSFlIs block the reuptake of serotonin having little effect on norepinephrine of dopamine synapses more direct targeted less side affects Ex Prozac Paxil Zoloft Lithium an element found to be effective for bipolar disorder but its mechanisms are not understood Cognitive Behavior Therapy has been demonstrated in carefully controlled studies to be among the foremost of the recent wave of methods which achieve more rapid lasting results than traditional talk therapy analysis Electroconvulsive Therapy ECT also known as the electroshock treatment uses short bursts of a controlled current of electricity into the brain to induce a brief artificial seizure while the patient is under general anesthesia Neural Basis of Affective Disorders This PET scan reveals increased activity in the frontal cortex and the amygdala of depressed patients compared to control subjects Anxiety Disorders Panic disorders characterized by sudden attacks of terror usually accompanied by a pounding hear sweatiness weakness faintness or dizziness Generalized anxiety disorder diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least 6 months Specific phobia diagnosed when a person has an intense fear of something that poses little of no actual danger Some of the more common specific phobias are Tuesday May 20 2014 centered around closedin places heights escalators tunnels highway driving water flying dogs and injuries involving blood ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder OCD diagnosed when people have persistent upsetting thoughts obsessions and use rituals compulsions to control the anxiety these thoughts produce Mot of the time the rituals end up controlling them Post Traumatic stress disorder PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm People with PTSD may startle easily become emotionally numb especially in relation to people with whom they used to be close to lose interest in things they used to enjoy have trouble feeling affectionate be irritable become more aggressive or even become violent neural basis of PTSD the original trauma activates two systems one in the brainstem which sensitizes the subject to related stimuli in the future and another in the amygdala which conditions a longlasting fearful reaction see gauchospace for model Treatment for Anxiety Disorders medications Antidepressants including MAOls tricyclics and SSRs Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs considered as minor tranquilizers with varying hypnotic sedative anxiolytic anticonvulsant muscle relaxant and amnestic properties Benzodiazepines produces their effects by depressing the central nervous system and by enhancing the effects of GABA the most prolific inhibitory receptor within the brain Ex Alpazolam Xanax Diazepam Valium Lorazepam Ativan Clonazepam Klonopin Temazepam Restoril Cognitive Behavior Therapy that makes use of classical conditioning through extinction called desensitization This is most effective in combination with medication Schizophrenia Positive symptoms something extra hallucinations delusions violence hyperactivity disorders of thought negative symptoms something missing catatonia social withdrawal disorders of thought blunted affect no feelingdepression Tuesday May 20 2014 Etiology of Schizophrenia Diathesis stress model of schizophrenia that schizophrenia is the result of a genetic predisposition that interacts with stress early in neurodevelopment through illness or trauma Theories of Schizophrenia dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia schizophrenia is related to excessive dopamine activation of D2 receptors Some researchers have suggested that overactivity of dopamine systems in the mesolimbic pathway may contribute to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as delusions and hallucinations whereas brain damage and hypo activity in cortical regions may be responsible for the negative symptoms However the dopamine hypothesis cannot account for all of the research findings Glutamate GABA and serotonin have also been implicated Treatments for Schizophrenia 1st generation of antipsychotic drugs typical are dopamine D2 receptor antagonists It is positively correlated with treatment the outcome however this class of drugs are only effective at treating positive symptoms and they produce serious side effects like Parkinson like syndrome 2nd generation of antipsychotic drugs atypical have an affinity for both D2 receptors and serotonin receptors There is lower affinity for D2 receptors so there are few motor side effects treating both positive and negative symptoms but doesn t help cognitive dysfunctions 3rd generation of antipsychotic drugs atypical are NMDA agonists suggesting that glutamate and glycine are downregulated in schizophrenia Appear to be effective at treating both positive and negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction but difficulties in giving medication and lead to hyperactivity and seizures Neural Basis of Schizophrenia cellular disarray of the hippocampus in chronic schizophrenia The frontal cortex is less activated in patients with schizophrenia opposite of depression compared to their normal twins either at rest or during the card sorting task which normally drives activity in the frontal lobes Schizophrenia and the Frontal Lobotomy Tuesday May 20 2014 Different techniques disconnected the frontal lobe from rest of the brain Optogenetics the combination of genetics and optics to control wel defined events within specific cells of the brain Can go in and turn on and off the neurons of the brain Control defined events within defined cell types at defined times Thursday May 22 2014 Lecture 13 Sleeping and Dreaming Stages of Sleep Wakefulness characterized by lowamplitude highfrequency EEG waveforms beta activity Stage 1 sleep relaxed closed eyes see alpha rhythms or waves oscillations of 912 Hz begin to appear The EEG waveform is still ow ampitude GG Stage 2 characterized by sleep spindles oscillations of 1214 Hz and K complexes sharp spikes in periodic bursts Lose all conscious awareness of the external environment GG Stage 3 amp 4 characterized by highamplitude lowfrequency EEG waveforms delta waves this period is referred to as slowwave sleep SWS Stage 3 is usually just a brief transition to Stage 4 Stage 4 is about 1015 of your total sleep but it predominates in the first third of the night This is the deepest stage of sleep in which it is extremely difficult to awaken somebody t s during this stage that night terrors bed wetting sleepwalking and sleep talking GG REM sleep sleep cycles through the stages about every 90 minutes but when it returns to Stage 1 you enter REM sleep which is characterized by lowamplitude highfrequency EEG waveforms similar to wakefulness The heart rate and respiration speeds up but you lose almost all muscle tone in your skeletal muscles Your eyes move rapidly behind closed eyelids REM REM sleep accounts for 20 of your sleep time and it occurs predominantly in the last third of the night Your most vivid dreaming occurs during REM sleep new studies however indicate that reports of dreams during NREM slow wave sleep range from 23 to 74 Sleep across species and across lifetime all mammals do it in certain cycles with varying amounts of sleep and REM penods Thursday May 22 2014 Humans 8 hours Baboons much more so do cats Across lifetime beginning a lot more Rem sleep and we get older tend to need less and less sleep less REM sleep Reasons for Sleep theories energy conservation predator avoidance body restoration recuperation theory of sleep being awake disrupts the homeostatic mechanisms of our body and that sleep gives our bodies time to recuperate that homeostasis circadian theory of sleep sleep is the result of an internal timing mechanism that has evolved to keep us safe from predators and accidents circadian rhythms most animal s behavioral physiological and biochemical systems display a rhythm f approximately 24 hours that is innate The neural basis of this biological clock seems to be the suprachiasmatic nucleus SCN of the hypothalamus Free running experiments with humans indicate that our actual circadian rhythm is approx 25 hours and not 24 hours neural basis of sleep reticular activating system the reticular formation which is a group of nuclei in the brain stem projects axons diffusely to the thalamus and throughout the cerebral cortex and it appears to regulate wakefulness and sleep Triggers falling asleep and waking up Dreams Common Type of Dreams Falling being attacked repeatedly doing something school teachers studying sexual experiences arriving late eating finding money snakes being nude in public failing an exam Some characteristic bizarre random events images morph into each other emotion laden sexual time out of sequence irrational quickly forgotten More recent studies using content analysis suggest that the typical dreamers is highly conscious has vivid experiences is disconnected from the environment is asleep but somehow the brain is creating a story filling it with actors and scenarios and generating hallucinatory images Dreams happen in real time Thursday May 22 2014 While brain activity between awake consciousness and REM dreaming is very similar there are some critical differences reduced voluntary control and volition dreamers often cannot control their own actions and thoughts may be connected with reduced brain activity in the right inferior parietal lobe reduced self awareness and altered reflective thought dreamers are not aware they are sleeping and don t question the contents of the dream may be connect with reduced brain activity in the prefrontal cortex emotionality dreams are characterized by a high degree of emotional involvement may be connected with increased brain activity in the amygdala and other limbic regions Altered memory processes dreams are quickly forgotten and dreams tend not to be representations of recent episodes somewhat paradoxical since limbic regions are very active but may be due to reduced prefrontal brain activity Theories of Dreams Psychodynamic Freudian Theory Dreaming represents fulfillment of unconscious wishes related to impulses of the self or ego Latent unconscious content is disguised via censorship creating the bizarre manifest dream content Neural Signal Propagation top down dreams originate from psychic motives that then form sensory percepts similarity to waking consciousness Not very similar Dreams are purposively bizarre and nonsensical in order to disguise the true latent content Function of dreaming dreams preserve sleep in the face of unconscious needs for excitement it s a release of hidden desires without waking us up related to previous experience Yes Dream content is related to daytime experiences that trigger the emergence of related memories Activation Synthesis Theory Dreaming is characterized by high levels of brain activity in particular regions internal input and cholinergic modulation Neural Signal Propagation bottomup theory dreams originates from activation of sensory cortex by neural signals from the brain stem random firings of the brain stem that are later interpreted and reimagined b the individual as meaningful Thursday May 22 2014 similarity to waking consciousness No Dreaming is comparable to delirium and shares some psychological similarities as schizophrenia function of dreaming dreams might serves a creative function by providing a virtual reality model preparing the brain to integrate new info once the person is awake related to previous experience No Dream content is largely unrelated to the experiences of the previous day and do not accurately reflect episodic memories just random firings in the brain stem Neurocognitive Theory NOT in book but BE FAMILIAR With it dreaming occurs when the mature brain is adequately activated disconnected from external stimuli and without selfreflection Once instigated dreaming actively draws on memory schemas general knowledge and episodic info to produce simulations neural signal propagation topdown dreams originate in higherorder abstract thought that are then processed back into imaginal copies of perceptual expenences similarity to waking consciousness Yes Dreams can be a remarkable replica of waking life Content analysis suggests that they are not always bizarre and nonsensical but are largely coherent and internally plausible narrative sequences function of dreaming dreams probably serve no particular function but they do have coherence and meaning and they can be based on stored memory representations related to previous experience No Familiar settings and people are sometimes incorporate into dreams are not a recollection of everyday life Memory Consolidation and Sleep one group of subjects was trained on a rotation task then tested 8 hours later after sleep Another group of subjects was trained in the morning then tested 8 hours later after wakefulness increases in slow wave activity were correlated with increase learning performance Memory consolidation not attached to dreaming attached to slow wave sleep Thursday May 22 2014 dreams are not replays of what happened the day before Difficult to measure accuracy of dreamer s report measuring dreams etc IO
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