It is well known that individuals, who have primary mental disorder (for instance depression, schizophrenia) use alcohol for self medication purposes. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that individuals, who have alcohol addiction, during the abstinence develop secondary psychiatric illness.

In this case mental illness can be explained by neuradaptations in the brain elicited by chronic intoxication with alcohol. Another explanation would be that comorbid disorders – alcoholism and depression – are due to common genetical predisposition to develop mental disorders. Therefore the precise mechanism and genetic vulnerbility is not clear in this case. Consequently, our research team purpose is to elucidate the overlapping mechanims of those two psychiatric disorders in order to suggest the potential treatment strategies. First of all, we will develop preclinical rat models of depression and alcoholism disorders. For this purpose we will use behavioural and pharmacological models.

Behavioural disease models are created by manipulating animal environmental conditions (chronic intermittent alcohol use will cause addiction), and pharmacological model which uses drugs, affecting nervous system function and/or develpmental processes (neonatal clomipramine treatment will induce depressive symptomatology among adult rats). Animal models of mental disorder will be validated using behavioural methods (for instance, Porsolt test, USV vocalisations, sucrose solution test for anhedonia). Later, we will perform electrophysiological and neurochemical measurements in order to get the more detailed picture about pathophysiological changes observed in those two mental disorders.

 

 

Group members

Ass. Prof. Dr. Valentina Vengeliene

PhD student Egle Janenaite

Contacts

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Ass. Prof. Valentina Vengeliene)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (PhD student Eglė Janenaite)

Projects

2013-2016 Lietuvos mokslo tarybos finansuojamas projektas: Chroniško alkoholio vartojimo poveikis skirtingų smegenų sričių aktyvumui (MIP-012/2014); projekto vadovė: Valentina Vengelienė; dalyviai: Rokas Buišas, Redas Dulinskas.

2013-2017 Konkursinės doktorantūros projektas: „„Lygiagrečiai atsirandančios ligos – alkoholizmas, depresija, šizofrenija, jų atsiradimo mechanizmai bei gydymas“; projekto vadovė: Valentina Vengelienė, projekto tyrėja: Eglė Janėnaitė.

Publications

Villarín Pildaín L, Vengeliene V, Matthäus F. New measurement criteria for studying alcohol drinking and relapse in rodents. In Silico Pharmacol, 2013, 1:13.