About this Research Topic
The biological basis of psychiatric disease continues to be nebulous as do effective treatments. An increasing number of research studies suggest that metabolic and immune abnormalities are associated with many psychiatric diseases, although the exact link with regards to how behavior arises from such physiological abnormalities remains poorly defined. However, the important implication regarding this line of research is that identification of these abnormalities provides a target for novel treatments. Also, prenatal and post-natal environmental factors, including those derived from the diet, infectious agents, toxicants, microbiome disturbances and others, can adversely perturb metabolic and/or immune systems predisposed to disease, potentially through genetic or epigenetic alterations. Thus, both metabolic and immune abnormalities are well posed to be the substrate that connects environmental exposures with genetic predisposition, potentially explaining the recurrent theme of psychiatric disease having an etiology that suggests strong environmental-genetic interactions, at least partially through epigenetic mechanisms. Recent and previous studies have linked many metabolic abnormalities to psychiatric disease including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, redox metabolism abnormalities and disturbances in central folate, cobalamin and tetrahydrobiopterin availability as well as direct disruptions in neurotransmitter metabolism. Immune abnormalities, including autoantibodies that target brain, cytokine abnormalities and infectious triggers, have also been linked to psychiatric disease.
In this Research Topic we solicit articles that shed light on these associations as well as further define the connection to behavior. Foremost, articles that demonstrate how these biological disturbances can be leveraged to developed novel targeted treatments are particularly of interest.
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