Mitochondria & Mental Disorders: Is There a Link?

Research Paper Title

Mitochondrial Involvement in Mental Disorders: Energy Metabolism and Genetic and Environmental Factors.

Background

Mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder (BD), and schizophrenia (SZ), are generally characterised by a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behaviour, and relationships with others.

Multiple risk factors incorporating genetic and environmental susceptibility are associated with development of these disorders.

Mitochondria have a central role in the energy metabolism, and the literature suggests energy metabolism abnormalities are widespread in the brains of subjects with MDD, BPD, and SZ.

Numerous studies have shown altered expressions of mitochondria-related genes in these mental disorders.

In addition, environmental factors for these disorders, such as stresses, have been suggested to induce mitochondrial abnormalities.

Moreover, animal studies have suggested that interactions of altered expression of mitochondria-related genes and environmental factors might be involved in mental disorders.

Further investigations into interactions of mitochondrial abnormalities with environmental factors are required to elucidate of the pathogenesis of these mental disorders.

Reference

Iwata, K. (2020) Mitochondrial Involvement in Mental Disorders: Energy Metabolism and Genetic and Environmental Factors. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-05542-4_3.

Should We Target Inflammation, The Gut Microbiome, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Combat PTSD-Metabolism?

Research Paper Title

Novel Pharmacological Targets for Combat PTSD-Metabolism, Inflammation, The Gut Microbiome, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Background

Current pharmacological treatments of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have limited efficacy.

Although the diagnosis is based on psychopathological criteria, it is frequently accompanied by somatic comorbidities and perhaps “accelerated biological ageing,” suggesting widespread physical concomitants.

Such physiological comorbidities may affect core PTSD symptoms but are rarely the focus of therapeutic trials.

Methods

To elucidate the potential involvement of metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function in PTSD, the researchers integrate findings and mechanistic models from the DOD-sponsored “Systems Biology of PTSD Study” with previous data on these topics.

Results

Data implicate inter-linked dysregulations in metabolism, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and perhaps the gut microbiome in PTSD.

Several inadequately tested targets of pharmacological intervention are proposed, including insulin sensitisers, lipid regulators, anti-inflammatories, and mitochondrial biogenesis modulators.

Conclusions

Systemic pathologies that are intricately involved in brain functioning and behaviour may not only contribute to somatic comorbidities in PTSD, but may represent novel targets for treating core psychiatric symptoms.

Reference

Bersani, F.S., Mellon, S.H., Lindqvist, D., Kang, J.I., Rampersaud, R., Somvanshi, P.R., Doyle, F.J., Hammamieh, R., Jett, M., Yehuda, R., Marmar, C.R. & Wolkowitz, O.M. (2020) Novel Pharmacological Targets for Combat PTSD-Metabolism, Inflammation, The Gut Microbiome, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction