Panel Focus: Neuro/Psych

Why is it relevant?

June is Brain Awareness Month. “Worldwide, more than 55 million people are living with neurodegenerative disease”1. Genetic factors that play a role in the imbalance of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters can lead to issues such as memory loss, depression, concentration difficulties, insomnia, and anxiety. Maintaining a balance in neurotransmitters is essential for emotional regulation, focus, restful sleep, the growth and survival of neurons, and proper autophagy and detoxification. GX Sciences strives to educate our practitioners about genetic and environmental factors that could explain symptoms associated with various neurological and/or psychological disorders.

Why is it important?

Estimates and studies suggest specific ethnicities and genders are disproportionately affected by neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. “Nearly 2/3 of Americans that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are women2“. Additionally, “African Americans and Hispanics are 1.5-2 times more likely to have Alzheimer’s in comparison to Caucasian Americans3“. Our comprehensive nutrigenomic panel, Neurological | Psych, identifies underlying contributing factors to mood disorders, post-concussion syndrome, motor control issues, headaches, vertigo/dizziness, personality disorders, seizures, and neurodegenerative issues. This genetic test evaluates specific genes that impact excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters. Genetic predispositions, in combination with inflammatory lifestyle factors such as stress, alcohol intake, poor diet choice and stimulant use, can fuel unfavorable symptoms. Genetic findings and interpretations through the GX Sciences supplementation reporting can help determine:

  • Contributing Genetic Factors in Mood, Anxiety, Memory and/or Focus Issues
  • Discover Insufficiencies in Neurogenesis
  • Autophagy Consideration in Relation to the Neurological System & Neuro-Inflammatory Response
  • The Body’s Ability to Detox

Key Genes from the Neuro / Psych Panel

Many recognize the affect that a GAD1 SNP has on GABA/glutamate balance, mood and function, but do you know how autophagy and essential vitamins contribute to neurotransmitter function? In autophagy, the genes ATG16L1, ATG12, and ATG5 play a key role in neurotransmission due to their role in selectively controlling homeostasis of both pre and post synaptic neurotransmitters and their receptors.4 In general, Autophagy provides neuroprotection, specifically for catecholamine neurons. When the body is under stress, neurotransmitter balance is compromised, thus altering behavior and emotional/cognitive functions. Autophagy helps provide the survival of dopamine and norepinephrine neurons. Specifically, autophagy controls the clearing and responsivity of neurotransmitter receptors through interacting with the proteasome system (protein disposal system) and secretory pathways, a key function of neurotransmitter modulation.5 DBH Dopamine beta hydroxylase is responsible for catalyzing dopamine to norepinephrine, with ascorbate (Vitamin C) a required co-factor for the conversion. Polymorphisms in DBH potentially reduce norepinephrine levels, which could result in symptoms such as low blood pressure, intolerance to exercise, reduced muscle tone, daytime fatigue, ADHD symptoms, anxiety/depression, or apathy, etc. Autophagy can be upregulated by routine exercise as well as intermittent fasting due to the up regulatory effects of glucagon. Certain supplements can also support autophagy, such as curcumin, Catechins, caffeine, resveratrol, and D-chiro-inositol.
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