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Bipolar disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia (SZ) are severe psychiatric illnesses with a combined prevalence of 4%. A disturbance of energy metabolism is frequently observed in these disorders. Several pieces of evidence point to an underlying dysfunction of mitochondria: i) decreased mitochondrial respiration; (ii) changes in mitochondrial morphology; iii) increases in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms and in levels of mtDNA mutations; iv) downregulation of nuclear mRNA molecules and proteins involved in mitochondrial respiration; v) decreased high-energy phosphates and decreased pH in the brain; and vi) psychotic and affective symptoms, and cognitive decline in mitochondrial disorders. Furthermore, transgenic mice with mutated mitochondrial DNA polymerase show mood disorder-like phenotypes. In this review, we will discuss the genetic and physiological components of mitochondria and the evidence for mitochondrial abnormalities in BPD and SZ. We will furthermore describe the role of mitochondria during brain development and the effect of current drugs for mental illness on mitochondrial function. Understanding the role of mitochondria, both developmentally as well as in the ailing brain, is of critical importance to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms in psychiatric disorders.
Neuroscience Graduate Program, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, 37232.
This article was published in the following journal.
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A dibenzothiazepine and ANTIPSYCHOTIC AGENT that targets the SEROTONIN 5-HT2 RECEPTOR; HISTAMINE H1 RECEPTOR, adrenergic alpha1 and alpha2 receptors, as well as the DOPAMINE D1 RECEPTOR and DOPAMINE D2 RECEPTOR. It is used in the treatment of SCHIZOPHRENIA; BIPOLAR DISORDER and DEPRESSIVE DISORDER.
Inability to experience pleasure due to impairment or dysfunction of normal psychological and neurobiological mechanisms. It is a symptom of many PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS (e.g., DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, MAJOR; and SCHIZOPHRENIA).
A thiazole derivative and atypical ANTIPSYCHOTIC AGENT that functions as a DOPAMINE D2 RECEPTOR ANTAGONIST; SEROTONIN 5-HT2 RECEPTOR ANTAGONIST, serotonin 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, and antagonist of the adrenergic α2A and α2C receptors, as well as a partial SEROTONIN 5-HT1A RECEPTOR AGONIST. It is used in the treatment of SCHIZOPHRENIA and BIPOLAR DISORDER.
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A major affective disorder marked by severe mood swings (manic or major depressive episodes) and a tendency to remission and recurrence.
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