This model maps neural connections, based on peer-reviewed literature and systems biology databases, and allows us to implement peripheral (urinary and plasma) neurotransmitter biomarker measurements to identify the central pathways that are altered in various disease states (Elfering et al., 2008; Yu et al., 2008).
The concept of the NeuroCircuitry model owes a debt to a pioneer in the field, Fuad Lechin. Dr. Lechin has focused much of his research on understanding the crosstalk between the CNS and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) (Lechin et al., 2002). Through the examination of over 30,000 patients, Dr. Lechin and his colleagues have assessed circulating neurotransmitters before and after various types of challenges, including orthostasis testing, exercise, oral glucose tolerance testing, and the administration of peripherally and centrally acting drugs. He has proposed innovative methods to treat various disorders by targeting specific CNS nuclei with pharmacological interventions, guided by measurements of circulating neurotransmitters, hormones, and metabolites present in urine, platelets, and plasma (Lechin et al., 1996). His work has afforded researchers a better understanding of pharmacological and supplemental interventions to correct the effects of exogenous (environmental factors) and endogenous (inflammation, genetic, disease) variables that can alter CNS and PNS activity.
As we mentioned in our last post, although some question the ability of peripheral markers to indicate central function due to the transport-limiting effects of the blood-brain barrier, research has clearly illustrated that crosstalk does occur. Therefore, neural circuits that mediate this crosstalk provide sound insight into CNS function through the measurement of peripheral biomarkers.
In upcoming blog posts, we’ll show some case studies demonstrating how the NeuroCircuitry model can use peripheral neurotransmitter measurements to assess altered CNS functions as well as the effectiveness of interventions.