How Is Acetylcholine Relevant to Psychiatry as Far as Its Impact on Psychiatric Symptoms or Psychiatric Disorders?
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Further and methodologically improved research is supported and required.
This approach will be of particular use in determining which receptors are involved in the cross-talk between transmitter systems, thereby circumventing the problems associated with using drugs that, although they have a high affinity for a particular receptor often have the capacity to stimulate or inhibit the actions of other receptors. What was once a “simple” process of a gene being transcribed into RNA which was then translated into the corresponding protein is gradually being unraveled to reveal a far more complex series of events than previously imagined. We now know that factors such as gene methylation and histone modification (epigenetics) can determine whether or not a gene can be transcribed. Assuming the RNA is generated, the next step in the process can also be regulated, this time by microRNAs (miRNAs) which have the ability to block the translation of mRNA into proteins. Therefore, these factors also have to be taken into account when considering the interactions between central neurotransmitters, particularly since both epigenetics and miRNAs have been implicated in psychiatric disorders.
Similarly, new human imaging studies have highlighted the role for distinct cholinergic systems in behavior. One principal conclusion to be drawn from the wealth of current data is that cholinergic modulation is best viewed as the synergistic alteration of neuronal function at the synaptic, cellular, and network levels.