Genetic Marker - Reward Deficiency Syndrome
David at longley.demon.co.uk
Sat May 6 22:40:09 EST 1995
In article <3oh41l$d0t at news4.primenet.com>
thielbl at primenet.com "Brian Thiel/Lois Henry-Thiel" writes:
> Following is the abstract of a 4-hour presentation recently given by
> Dr. Kenneth Blum of San Antonio, TX. Frankly, no abstract could do
> justice to the prodigious scope of the lecture. Already his thesis
> has provoked plenty of scholarly controversy.
> REWARD DEFICIENCY SYNDROME:
> ELECTRO-PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOGENETIC EVIDENCE
> Kenneth Blum, Ph.D.
Research on the monoamines is now well into its 4th decade, and the hedonic
theory of DA in its 3rd. Frankly it takes little scientific insight to say
what is said in this abstract given the *enormous* amount of research on
the monoamines (I understand that at one time the Cambridge undergraduate
psychology degree was nicknamed 'the dopamine degree').
However, still after over 30 years research we are no clearer as to what the
different subsystems of the catecholamine systems are (if they can in fact
be functionally differentiated) doing.
At one point, preferrred status is given to 4 transmitters (of the potential
hundreds!), one of them being GABA...I recall a well known researcher in the
late 70s responding to the 'theories' that GABA was basic to the anxiolytic
effects of benzodiazepines, by pointing out that in fact 40% of the brain is
My purpose here is not to 'throw wet blankets', but to alert those who may
not know of the *enormous* wealth of research in this domain (try doing an
Index Medicus or PsycLit search on 'Dopamine'), that it is very easy to
come up with statements such as Blum's.....what is really needed is some
fine grain work at the physical level to elucidate what the catecholamines
(and indoleamines) are doing, how they do it and so on. That such function
will be genetically variant should come as much surprise as the fact that
height and intelligence is.
PS. This point is *exactly* the one which I tried to make in response to
questions about the difference between psychobiology & neuroscience.
Those working in neuroscience are slowly putting the jig-saw together
& probably feel quite irked by the psycho-biologists who jump up with
premature all singing/dancing-integrative theories, which are to a
great extent entirely dependent, but inaccurate pastiches of their
hard work. Anyone who has worked on the monoamines knows that they
end up having to know almost everything there is to know about the
brain to begin to understand anything about what they are up to- that
should ring warning bells.
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