Modulation of the Endocannabinoids N-Arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on Executive Functions in Humans.

Modulation of the Endocannabinoids N-Arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on Executive Functions in Humans.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e66387
Fagundo AB, de la Torre R, Jiménez-Murcia S, Agüera Z, Pastor A, Casanueva FF, Granero R, Baños R, Botella C, Del Pino-Gutierrez A, Fernández-Real JM, Fernández-García JC, Frühbeck G, Gómez-Ambrosi J, Menchón JM, Moragrega I, Rodríguez R, Tárrega S, Tinahones FJ, Fernández-Aranda F

Animal studies point to an implication of the endocannabinoid system on executive functions. In humans, several studies have suggested an association between acute or chronic use of exogenous cannabinoids (?9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and executive impairments. However, to date, no published reports establish the relationship between endocannabinoids, as biomarkers of the cannabinoid neurotransmission system, and executive functioning in humans. The aim of the present study was to explore the association between circulating levels of plasma endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and executive functions (decision making, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility) in healthy subjects. One hundred and fifty seven subjects were included and assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; Stroop Color and Word Test; and Iowa Gambling Task. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years and spoke Spanish as their first language. Results showed a negative correlation between 2-AG and cognitive flexibility performance (r?=?-.37; p<.05). A positive correlation was found between AEA concentrations and both cognitive flexibility (r?=?.59; p<.05) and decision making performance (r?=?.23; P<.05). There was no significant correlation between either 2-AG (r?=?-.17) or AEA (r?=?-.08) concentrations and inhibition response. These results show, in humans, a relevant modulation of the endocannabinoid system on prefrontal-dependent cognitive functioning. The present study might have significant implications for the underlying executive alterations described in some psychiatric disorders currently associated with endocannabinoids deregulation (namely drug abuse/dependence, depression, obesity and eating disorders). Understanding the neurobiology of their dysexecutive profile might certainly contribute to the development of new treatments and pharmacological approaches. HubMed – eating


Flavor-Enhanced Modulation of Cerebral Blood Flow during Gum Chewing.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e66313
Hasegawa Y, Tachibana Y, Sakagami J, Zhang M, Urade M, Ono T

Flavor perception, the integration of taste and odor, is a critical factor in eating behavior. It remains unclear how such sensory signals influence the human brain systems that execute the eating behavior.WE TESTED CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW (CBF) IN THE FRONTAL LOBES BILATERALLY WHILE SUBJECTS CHEWED THREE TYPES OF GUM WITH DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS OF TASTE AND ODOR: no taste/no odor gum (C-gum), sweet taste/no odor gum (T-gum), and sweet taste/lemon odor gum (TO-gum). Simultaneous recordings of transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) and near infrared spectrometer (NIRS) were used to measure CBF during gum chewing in 25 healthy volunteers. Bilateral masseter muscle activity was also monitored.We found that subjects could discriminate the type of gum without prior information. Subjects rated the TO-gum as the most flavorful gum and the C-gum as the least flavorful. Analysis of masseter muscle activity indicated that masticatory motor output during gum chewing was not affected by taste and odor. The TCD/NIRS measurements revealed significantly higher hemodynamic signals when subjects chewed the TO-gum compared to when they chewed the C-gum and T-gum.These data suggest that taste and odor can influence brain activation during chewing in sensory, cognitive, and motivational processes rather than in motor control. HubMed – eating


Growing up is hard: mental disorders in adolescence.

Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2013 Jun; 110(25): 432-40
Herpertz-Dahlmann B, Bühren K, Remschmidt H

Puberty brings on many biological, mental, and social changes. In this phase of life, the prevalence of serious mental disorders is about 10%.This review is based on a selective search for publications on the prevalence, causes, risk factors, and effects of mental disorders in adolescence.Internalizing mental disorders are more common in girls; these include depression, social anxiety, and eating disorders. Their prevalence ranges from 12% to 23%, depending on the particular diagnostic instruments and criteria that are applied. Disruptive disorders, e.g., disorders of social behavior, are more common in boys, with a worldwide prevalence of approximately 5% to 10%. Marked differences between the sexes appear during puberty. The one-year prevalence of self-injurious behavior is about 14% in boys and 25% in girls. The consumption of legal and illegal drugs is one of the risk-seeking behaviors associated with adolescence.In routine check-ups and medical office visits, particular attention should be paid to the possibility of a mental disorder. Special outpatient clinics for adolescents can help more young people avail themselves of the existing preventive and therapeutic measures. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent mental disorders in adulthood and foster age-appropriate development. HubMed – eating



Michael Fitzgerald and Ann Marie Fennell discussing Eating Disorders on WLR Feb 2011.m4v – Michael Fitzgerald and Ann Marie Fennell talking to WLR’s Ian Noctor about Eating Disorders.