About the Book
Neurodevelopmental disorders are a category of disorders that influence the development of the central nervous system. These can include developmental brain disorder, which may manifest as neuropsychiatric disorders or impaired motor control, learning, language or non-verbal communication. Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are severe, inherited conditions characterized by impaired brain development and learning, social interaction and behavioral deficiencies. Genetic predisposition appears to interact with environmental factors to produce the onset of the disease. In the last decade genomic analysis on NDDs advanced the knowledge of the genetic causes of these disorders: most of the genes identified were not predicted from known biology, and almost all of them engage in neurodevelopmental processes. However, the same studies revealed an unexpected outcome regarding the molecular etiology: many of the same susceptibility genes as well as molecular pathways are emerging across hitherto unrelated disorders- such as autism and schizophrenia- challenging how we conceptualize these conditions. These new discoveries call for the establishment of additional criteria for the classification of the genes and related phenotypes.
This book presents recent advances in neurodevelopmental disorders from genes to systems, in single conditions and across different phenotypes, and reports the newest treatments in use. The book covers a broad range of issues, populations and domains: diagnosis; incidence and prevalence; educational, pharmacological, behavioral and cognitive behavioral, mindfulness, and psychosocial interventions across the lifespan. Animal models of basic research that advance understanding and treatment of intellectual and developmental disabilities are also included. Recognized experts in the field discuss recent findings in molecular studies, in vivo imaging, neuropsychology, neuropharmacology and computational neuroscience. This multidisciplinary approach enriches the understanding of the mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of NDDs with the perspective of revealing the biological signs of the disorders and identifying new therapeutics.
Neuroendocrinology refers to the study of the relationship between nervous and endocrine systems. Neuroendocrinology is a field of study that investigates the relationship between the central nervous system and the endocrine glands. The neuroendocrine system regulates a variety of important physiological processes, including biological rhythms, stress, social activity, appetite, development, and reproduction. The field of neuroendocrinology has developed from its original emphasis on the regulation of hypothalamus pituitary hormone secretion to include numerous reciprocal connections between the central nervous system (CNS) and the endocrine systems in the management of homeostasis and physiological responses to environmental stimuli. Although many of these concepts are relatively recent, the intimate interaction of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland was recognized more than a century ago. Over the past decades, with the introduction of many powerful bio-techniques and novel research ideas, considerable progress has been achieved in understanding the neuroendocrine system and neurohormones. In addition to the classically-identified neurohormones, many neuropeptides are also identified within the brain that influence a wide range of social and non-social behaviors, and within varieties of tissues to exert autocrine, paracrine and even intracrine functions, represented by brain-gut peptides and immunological peptides from the thymus.
The present book is a compilation of wide range contributions that illustrates various facets of current neuroendocrinological investigations. Correspondingly, modern neuroendocrinology embraces a wide range of topics from genetic and epigenetic features of neuroendocrine cells, clarification of receptors and their signaling mechanism, identification of novel neuropeptides and their functions, neuroendocrine basis of social behaviors and cognition, interaction between neuroendocrine/endocrine system and other organ systems, reciprocal brain-body communication, neuroendocrine regulation under varieties of physiological and pathological conditions, and computational neuroendocrinology.