Genetic Code Image

A sequence of amino acids is the blueprint of life. The Genome Project is a coordinated effort to map the human genetic code.* Our genetic code can be compared to a library; not all of the books are read, or in genetic terms-transcribed. Half of human genes effect CNS functioning. It is therefore estimated that 70,000 genes are expressed within the human brain. Currently, detailed information is available for 1000 to 2000 structural and regulatory genes active within the brain.** Transcription of the genetic code of neurons appears to be the event that determines the constitution of dendritic and synaptic architecture.

The secondary messenger system in the cell alters the manner in which the genetic code is read by stimulating and/or inhibiting different functions. With the assistance of the promotor gene, the secondary messenger activates the structural gene, which stimulates the production of regulatory genes that stimulate or inhibit other genes. The process is then repeated, stimulating late effector genes, which serve regulatory and structural functions. These genes then produce messenger RNA resulting in long-term cellular changes in the cell physiology.

The effect of learning as well as medication and other treatments is to impact the manner in which the genetic code is transcribed. The time required for this process to occur causes a time lag between the start of treatment and the point at which therapeutic effect occurs.