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The Food and Drug Addiction Epidemic: Targeting Dopamine Homeostasis

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 39 ]

Author(s):

Kenneth Blum, Panayotis K Thanos, Gene-Jack Wang, Marcelo Febo, Zsolt Demetrovics, Edward Justin Modestino*, Eric R. Braverman, David Baron, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan and Mark S. Gold   Pages 6050 - 6061 ( 12 )

Abstract:


Obesity is damaging the lives of more than 300 million people worldwide and maintaining a healthy weight using popular weight loss tactics remains a very difficult undertaking. Managing the obesity problem seems within reach, as better understanding develops, of the function of our genome in drug/nutrient responses. Strategies indicated by this understanding of nutriepigenomics and neurogenetics in the treatment and prevention of metabolic syndrome and obesity include moderation of mRNA expression by DNA methylation, and inhibition of histone deacetylation. Based on an individual's genetic makeup, deficient metabolic pathways can be targeted epigenetically by, for example, the provision of dietary supplementation that includes phytochemicals, vitamins, and importantly functional amino acids. Also, the chromatin structure of imprinted genes that control nutrients during fetal development can be modified. Pathways affecting dopamine signaling, molecular transport and nervous system development are implicated in these strategies. Obesity is a subtype of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) and these new strategies in the treatment and prevention of obesity target improved dopamine function. It is not merely a matter of gastrointestinal signaling linked to hypothalamic peptides, but alternatively, finding novel ways to improve ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic function and homeostasis.

Keywords:

Food and drug addiction, pro-dopamine regulation, reward deficiency syndrome (RDS), hypothalamic-gut-axis, neurogenetics, epigenetics.

Affiliation:

Department of Psychiatry & McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, Department of Psychology, University of Buffalo, the State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, Laboratory of Neuroimaging, National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD, Department of Psychiatry & McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, Institute of Psychology, Eotvos Lorand University Budapest, Budapest, Department of Psychology, Curry College, Milton, MA, Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA, Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA, Department of Psychiatry, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and Dayton VA Medical Center, Dayton, OH (IE), Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis, MO



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