Exciting research on the neurochemistry of psychiatric and neurological disorders is being conducted by neuroscience researchers from a diversity of backgrounds. This research ranges from studies at the cellular and molecular level through studies on laboratory models and investigations on potential biomarkers in body fluids and postmortem brain tissue.
Illnesses under investigation include mental illnesses such as mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and a number of neurological disorders in which subjects display psychiatric symptoms (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, motor disorders, eating disorders). Comorbidity, the presence of more than one disorder in an individual, is often a problem when studying psychiatric and neurological disorders. Several researchers are investigating the relationships not only between psychiatric and neurological disorders, but also between disorders and conditions such as cardiovascular disease and addictions. Several researchers are also focusing on the importance of glia and glia-neuron interactions in brain function/dysfunction.
Many of these studies aim to identify the possible causes and ways to prevent the disorders, as well as increase the understanding of the mechanisms involved in current treatments and develop better drugs for future therapy.
Techniques used include:
- gas chromatography
- high pressure liquid chromatography
- mass spectrometry
- magnetic resonanace spectroscopy
- in vivo microdialysis
- voltammetric techniques
- gene arrays
- receptor binding techniques
- animal models
- enzyme assays
- drug development
- drug metabolism
- deep sequencing and bioinformatics