From the WUSTL Newsroom…
Calming a neural circuit in the brain can alleviate stress in mice, according to new research that could lay the foundation for understanding stress and anxiety in people.
Using cutting-edge techniques, the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis also showed they could shine a light into the brain to activate the stress response in mice that had not been exposed to stressful situations.
The study is published online July 23 in the journal Neuron.
“We now have a much better idea of the neural circuit involved in producing anxiety following stress,” said first author Jordan G. McCall, PhD, a former graduate student in the laboratory of principal investigator Michael R. Bruchas, PhD, associate professor of anesthesiology and neurobiology. “You can imagine that this same response also may be important to longer-term stress-related problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety disorder.”
The work may lead to the development of new treatments for such disorders, as well as for depression and alcohol and drug abuse.
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