Published On: Sat, Jun 4th, 2016

Continual stress can change brain’s structure



A new research study has found that persistent stress can make people worn-out, apprehensive and disheartened and also direst to structural alterations in the brain, it can also grow a novel drug that might help in averting these alterations.

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The results illustrated that when mice went through expanded stress, the amygdala – an area of the brain that controls basic emotions, for example, fear and anxiety – retracts.

In the medial amygdala, the neuronal branches, which form crucial links to further areas of the brain, seemed to contract.

These shrinking can damage the brain, deform its capability to become accustomed to novel experiences, depart it trapped in a state of agonizing or despair, the researchers told.

stressed brain

Carla Nasca, who is the lead author of the research study and Post-Doctoral researcher at Rockefeller University in the US, stated that “When we took a closer look at the three regions within the amygdala, we found that neurons within one, the medial amygdala, retract as a result of chronic stress”,

Nasca further stated that “While this rewiring can contribute to disorders such as anxiety and depression, our experiments with mice showed that the neurological and behavioral effects of stress can be prevented with treatment by a promising potential antidepressant that acts rapidly”,

In the research, presented in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the research team discovered that the defensive approach elevated resilience amid mice much at danger for growing apprehension or depression-like behaviors.

The research team primarily subjected mice to 21 days of periodic detention within a small space – an unhappy experience for mice.

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After that, they examined the mice to witness if their behaviors had altered, for example, if they had started to shun social interaction and illustrated further signs of despair. They also analyzed the neurons of these mice within the parts of the amygdala.

The scientists replicated the strain test and this time, they dealt the mice with acetyl carnitine – a molecule recognized for its possible to work as a rapid-acting antidepressant.

The findings illustrated that the mice fared well than their untreated counterparts. Not just were they more sociable, the neurons of their medial amygdalas also shared more branching.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.