This 2020 review attempted to consolidate thousands of research papers on oxytocin: “Chemical properties of oxytocin make this molecule difficult to work with and to measure. Effects of oxytocin are context-dependent, sexually dimorphic, and altered by experience. Its relationship to a related hormone, vasopressin, have created challenges for its use as a therapeutic drug. Widely … Continue reading Unraveling oxytocin – is it nature’s medicine?
A pair of 2019 Virginia studies involved human mother/infant subjects: “We show that OXTRm [oxytocin receptor gene DNA methylation] in infancy and its change is predicted by maternal engagement and reflective of behavioral temperament.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795517 “Epigenetic dynamics in infancy and the impact of maternal engagement” “Infants with higher OXTRm show enhanced responses to anger and … Continue reading Using oxytocin receptor gene methylation to pursue an agenda
This 2019 US rodent study concerned transmitting poor maternal care to the next generation: “The quality of parental care received during development profoundly influences an individual’s phenotype, including that of maternal behavior. Infant experiences with a caregiver have lifelong behavioral consequences. Maternal behavior is a complex behavior requiring the recruitment of multiple brain regions including … Continue reading A drug that countered effects of a traumatizing mother
This 2018 Chinese review highlighted areas in which CRISPR/Cas9 technology has, is, and could be applied to rewrite epigenetic changes: “CRISPR/Cas9-mediated epigenome editing holds a great promise for epigenetic studies and therapeutics. It could be used to selectively modify epigenetic marks at a given locus to explore mechanisms of how targeted epigenetic alterations would affect … Continue reading Reversing epigenetic changes with CRISPR/Cas9
This 2018 McGill paper reviewed findings from animal and human studies on the relationships between drug-seeking behavior and epigenetic DNA methylation: “Although there is an increasing line of evidence from preclinical models of addiction, there are only a few human studies that systematically assessed DNA methylation in addiction. Most of the studies were done on … Continue reading Addictive behavior and epigenetic DNA methylation
This 2017 Italian rodent study found: “THC [delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound of cannabis] exposure affects histone modifications in the brain of female rats in a region- and age-specific manner. Specifically, THC acts on different targets depending on the considered brain area and, remarkably, the adolescent brain is generally more sensitive to THC than the adult … Continue reading Epigenetic effects of THC differ between female adolescents and adults
This 2015 Swiss rodent study found: “Mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region relevant for motivation and depression, is a critical mediating factor in the subordinate status displayed by high-anxious rats. Treatment with nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 that boosts mitochondrial respiration, into the NAc [nucleus accumbens] of high-anxious rats at … Continue reading Brain-region-specific energy metabolism affected the social competitiveness of highly-anxious rats
Ever wonder what happens in your brain and body when you get chills from a musical performance? This 2013 summary review of 126 studies provided details of brain areas that contribute to our enjoyment of music. Much of the review addressed Darwin’s observation that music had no readily apparent functional consequence and no clear-cut adaptive … Continue reading What is the purpose of music? A review of evolutionary and pleasurable research findings