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.
Have you realized that you need to lose weight? Dropping the pounds can be a huge chore, boring at best and complete agony at worst. Everyone wants to find that one way of exercising that works for them. You don't want to be bored out of your mind or wishing you were doing anything else but working out. Read more
Our mental health is as important as our physical health. Many people fail to remember that by indulging in exercise, you are giving your mental health a workout too. While it can be difficult to get moving if your mood is low, it is a great way to banish the blues. Exercise is vital for our mental health. Read more