alexa Modulation of the Endogenous Cannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2167-0501

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Review Article

Modulation of the Endogenous Cannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders

Harrison J Stratton1*, Darien L Allen2, Jie Wu3 and Michael S Shafer4
1Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Graduate College, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
2 Global Health Program, School of Human Evolution & Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
3Division of Neurology, Barrow Neurological Institute, 350 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ, USA
4 Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, Graduate Director, Cummings Doctor of Behavioral Health, Degree Program Professor, School of Social Work, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Corresponding Author : Harrison J Stratton
Interdisciplinary Program in Neurosciences
Life Sciences C Wing, Room 126
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85281
Tel: (540) 407 0538
E-mail: [email protected]
Received March 02, 2013; Accepted April 18, 2013; Published April 22, 2013
Citation: Stratton HJ, Allen DL, Wu J, Shafer MS (2013) Modulation of the Endogenous Cannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders. Biochem Pharmacol (Los Angel) S1:008. doi:10.4172/2167-0501.S1-008
Copyright: © 2013 Stratton HJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Focus on developing more effective therapeutic interventions to assuage the symptoms of mental health disorders has been a significant driving force in our search to understand the human brain. Current treatments for mental health disorders rely on modulating neurotransmitter systems such as norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and GABA to achieve therapeutic relief of symptoms. While there are many medications that individually target these specific systems, treatment often leads to unwanted side effects or incomplete relief. To counter this lack of treatment efficacy, we must investigate other avenues of achieving the same or better outcomes to potentially reach those patients resistant to common treatments. One of these systems is the Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS), which is composed of the metabotropic CB1 and CB2 receptors. These G protein coupled receptors are responsible for mediating the effects of acute cannabis ingestion as well as modulating a number of core functions including emotion, memory, and reward. Due to the ubiquitous nature of the expression of ECS proteins, there is broad overlap between the brain regions that show high levels of receptor expression and those that are involved in mental health disorders. Consequently, CB receptors could be used as a route for modulating the levels of other modulators, such as dopamine, that are known to play crucial roles in the progression of a number of mental health disorders. Here we will review the endogenous cannabinoid system and its natural ligands, along with how this system could potentially be involved in affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia.

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