Mussie Msghina´s research group

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Dopamine and serotonin are two important neurotransmitters in the brain that regulates a wide range of functions such as motor skills, cognition, affect and motivation, all essential for general daily functioning. Different types of abnormalities in dopamine and serotonin systems are believed to cause several psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.

Schizophrenia is a chronic disease that causes great suffering for the patient and is treated with drugs that reduce dopamine activity in the brain by blocking the D2 dopamine receiver.

The pharmacological treatment relieves the burden of disease, but is marred by troublesome side effects that to some extent even imitate part of the disease.

Another serious disease that is of interest to our study is depression that entails depressed mood, inactivity, lethargy, delayed motor skills and cognition, and increased self-injury prone.

The aim of our study is to clarify the role of dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters in the affective and cognitive processes and motivation. We will use clinically approved drugs with known mechanisms of action to affect dopamine (haloperidol, bupropion) and serotonin (escitalopram) systems and study the effects on affective and cognitive processes of the subject, and which brain structures are actively participating in the regulation of these functions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Research Projects

  • Pharmaco-fMRI studies of dopaminergic
  • Cholinergic and Serotonergic Systems for Cognitive
  • Affective and Motivational Functioning in Schizophrenic Subjects

Selected publications

[Antipsychotic agents are best chosen by their adverse effect profile].
Msghina M, Lindefors N
Lakartidningen ;106(44):2841-2, 2844-6

Crustacean frequenins: molecular cloning and differential localization at neuromuscular junctions.
Jeromin A, Shayan A, Msghina M, Roder J, Atwood H
J. Neurobiol. 1999 Nov;41(2):165-75

Calcium entry related to active zones and differences in transmitter release at phasic and tonic synapses.
Msghina M, Millar A, Charlton M, Govind C, Atwood H
J. Neurosci. 1999 Oct;19(19):8419-34

Facilitation and depression of ATP and noradrenaline release from sympathetic nerves of rat tail artery.
Msghina M, Gonon F, Stjärne L
J. Physiol. (Lond.) 1999 Mar;515 ( Pt 2)():523-31

Visible evidence for differences in synaptic effectiveness with activity-dependent vesicular uptake and release of FM1-43.
Quigley P, Msghina M, Govind C, Atwood H
J. Neurophysiol. 1999 Jan;81(1):356-70

Group members

Mussie MsghinaAssociated, Research team leader
Myrto SklivaniotiGraduate Student