Study Claims Stress And Depression Is Shrinking Your Brain
Aug 15, 2012 10:12
A study published in the journal Nature Medicine states that severe depression and chronic stress can shrink the brain by blocking the formation of new nerve connections. This thought to contribute to shrinkage of the brain's prefrontal cortex, which is known to occur in MDD sufferers.
For the study, researchers at Yale analyzed tissue of depressed and non-depressed patients who had died of MDD. They looked for different patterns of gene activation, and found that those in depression exhibited lower levels of expression in genes that are required for the function and structure of brain synapses.
Evidence pointed to the involvement of a single genetic "switch", or transcription factor - a protein called GATA1. Further studies on rats showed that when GATA1 was switched on, the rodents showed signs of depression.
The findings suggest that loss of brain synapses may be linked to depressive symptoms as well as mental impairment. The researchers hope that these genetic variations in GATA1 may one day help identify people at high risk and help improve treatment methods.
What is a workout without music? The answer is: boring. Research has shown that listening to music while working out can elevate your mood and make exercise seem easier too. It may even make you work harder! Read more
How well do you know your muscles? Our whole body is moving constantly and there isn't a time when every muscle is taking a break - except when you're dead. Here are some 10 interesting facts about our muscles. Check it out below: Read more