Biological Disturbances (biological + disturbance)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The platelet as a peripheral marker in psychiatric illness

Helein Plein
Abstract The identification of peripheral markers of psychiatric illness is important if an improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases with overlapping symptomatology is desired. There are many disorders that not only have overlapping symptomatology, but also have similar biological disturbances. The functional capability of the neurons involved in the disease processes may be at the crux of the underlying pathology. The platelet intracellular calcium response to neurotransmitter stimulation has previously been used as a peripheral marker of psychiatric illness. This review discusses evidence in support of the extended use of the platelet as a peripheral marker. The use of the platelet intracellular calcium response to neurotransmitter stimulation as a state or trait marker in major depression, the specificity and selectivity of this response, and the possible use of the platelet as a peripheral marker in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, mania and psychotic depression are shown. Finally, a proposed mechanism for the association between certain psychiatric disorders and cardiovascular disease is discussed. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Endoplasmic reticulum dysfunction , a common denominator for cell injury in acute and degenerative diseases of the brain?

Wulf Paschen
Various physiological, biochemical and molecular biological disturbances have been put forward as mediators of neuronal cell injury in acute and chronic pathological states of the brain such as ischemia, epileptic seizures and Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. These include over-activation of glutamate receptors, a rise in cytoplasmic calcium activity and mitochondrial dysfunction. The possible involvement of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction in this process has been largely neglected until recently, although the ER plays a central role in important cell functions. Not only is the ER involved in the control of cellular calcium homeostasis, it is also the subcellular compartment in which the folding and processing of membrane and secretory proteins takes place. The fact that blocking of these processes is sufficient to cause cell damage indicates that they are crucial for normal cell functioning. This review presents evidence that ER function is disturbed in many acute and chronic diseases of the brain. The complex processes taken place in this subcellular compartment are however, affected in different ways in various disorders; whereas the ER-associated degradation of misfolded proteins is affected in Parkinson's disease, it is the unfolded protein response which is down-regulated in Alzheimer's disease and the ER calcium homeostasis that is disturbed in ischemia. Studying the consequences of the observed deteriorations of ER function and identifying the mechanisms causing ER dysfunction in these pathological states of the brain will help to elucidate whether neurodegeneration is indeed caused by these disturbances, and will help to fascilitate the search for drugs capable of blocking the pathological process directly at an early stage. [source]

Neuropathology of septic shock

F. Gray
Introduction:, Septic shock is the most frequent cause of death in intensive care units. It is often complicated by an encephalopathy and there is increasing evidence that central autonomic nervous system (CANS) dysfunction plays a crucial role in the onset and persistance of the haemodynamic failure. However, only a few neuropathological studies are available; they are always retrospective and often disagree. Material and methods:, Twenty consecutive patient who died from septic shock were examined and compared with eight patients who died from nonseptic shock in the same unit and five ,normal' controls collected from the Forensic Medicine Service. Results and conclusion:, A variety of lesions, including microabscesses, multifocal necrotizing leukoencephalopathy, haemorrhages and disseminated intravascular coagulation, were found, and were most probably related to the biological disturbances associated with sepsis. These lesions may contribute to the ,septic encephalopathy'. Ischaemic changes in ,susceptible' areas were comparable in septic shock and in nonseptic shock. In contrast, ischaemic changes in the nuclei of the CANS were significantly more severe in septic shock than in nonseptic shock. Neuronal apoptosis in these nuclei was significantly more frequent and more severe in septic shock; apoptosis did not correlate exactly with neuronal ischaemia and was associated with only mild microglial activation suggesting that circulating factors may also play a role in its causation. [source]

Rhodiola rosea: A Versatile Adaptogen

Farhath Khanum
ABSTRACT Rhodiola rosea (rose root) belonging to the family Crassulaceae is a popular medicinal plant in Russia, Scandinavia, and many other countries. Extracts of the roots of this plant have been found to favorably affect a number of physiological functions including neurotransmitter levels, central nervous system activity, and cardiovascular function. It is being used to stimulate the nervous system, decrease depression, enhance work performance, eliminate fatigue, and prevent high-altitude sickness. Most of these effects have been ascribed to constituents such as salidroside (rhodioloside), rosavins, and p-tyrosol. It has also been found to be a strong antioxidant and anticarcinogen due to the presence of several phenolic compounds. Adaptogens are plant extracts that allow an organism to counteract adverse physical, chemical, and biological stressors by generating nonspecific resistance. Adaptogens are known to increase the availability of energy during the day, reduce stressed feelings, increase endurance, and increase mental alertness. This multipurpose medicinal plant (R. rosea), with adaptogenic properties that increase the body's nonspecific resistance and normalize functions, has been traditionally grown and used in Russia and Mongolia. Due to increasing consumer demands toward natural health products and the growing interests in the secondary metabolites of plants and their application in biotechnology and therapy, much focus has been put on the rose root and its medical properties. The rose root imparts normalizing influences on adverse physical, chemical, and biological disturbances but is otherwise innocuous. In India, the plant has been growing wild in the high altitudes of the Himalayas. The Defence Research and Development Organization in India has taken on the responsibilities of its conservation, as well as the development of multiple management practices and the development of health foods, supplements, and nutraceuticals in India. [source]