Trauma Switch Keeps One Bad Event From Turning Into PTSD
Researchers have discovered the brain mechanism that prevents people from developing overwhelming fear.
Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
New research at the University of Exeter reveals the mechanism by which the brain protects humans from developing uncontrollable fear in response to stressful or traumatic events. Receptors in the brain's emotional center (amygdala) are reprogrammed during these events, and these receptors in turn direct neurons to either remain active and produce emotions or to deactivate and stop producing emotions. To conduct the study, researchers deactivated these receptors in mice genetically; they learned that even to mild stimuli the mice reacted with almost pathological fear.
What's the Big Idea?
Robert Pawlak of the University of Exeter says, "The discovery that the same receptor can either awaken neurons or 'switch them off' depending on previous trauma and stress experience adds an entirely new dimension to our knowledge of how the brain operates and emotions are formed. We are now planning to extend our study to investigate if the above mechanisms, or genetic defects of the PAR1 receptor, are responsible for the development of anxiety disorders and depression in human patients."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
New research offers a tip for politicians who don’t want to be seen as corrupt: don’t get a big head.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.