Stress really does mess with your mind. A new study has found that chronic stress can create many of the brain changes associated with mood disorders by blocking a gene called neuritin-and that boosting the gene’s activity can protect the brain from those disorders. The results provide new insight into the mechanisms behind depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, and could offer researchers a novel target for drugs to treat those conditions.
Research has shown that mood disorders take a toll on patients’ brains as well as on their lives. Postmortem studies and brain scans have revealed that the hippocampus (the brain’s memory center) can shrink and atrophy in people with a history of depression and other mood disorders.
Science NOW (sciencemag.org) – By Gisela Telis – (Monday June 25, 2012) -