Neural circuit converts Stress into physical reactions
Emotional Stress is generally considered unhealthy and has been linked to numerous physical ailments in conjunction. However, it was unclear why this is so. A Japanese research team has discovered a neural circuit, the physical reactions to emotional Stress controls. This cycle could be a key target for the treatment of stress related disorders, such as panic attacks and stress disorders.
Researchers of Nagoya University have identified a previously unknown circuit in the brain that responds to emotional Stress. The neural circuit that runs through the deep areas of the brain known as the dorsal peduncularer cortex and dorsal Tenia tecta. From there, stress signals are sent to the brain region of the Hypothalamus, where the vital functions of the body controlled. The results were recently published in the renowned journal “Science”.
Stress can manifest itself through numerous physical complaints
Emotional Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which leads to physical reactions such as a rise in blood pressure and body temperature and a faster heart rate. Behind it, researchers suspect that at the end of a natural performance enhancing reaction to fight or flight situations. If these situations do not occur, but the reaction to it takes place but, still, this could have negative health consequences.
Stress responses are largely unknown
In order to develop strategies against stress-related disorders, you must first be the neural mechanism understood, the underlying physical reactions to Stress. Here, the Japanese research team led by Professor Kazuhiro Nakamura could make a major contribution to the understanding.
Rats ‘ brains were used to gather information
The Team injected so-called Tracer in the brains of rats. With the help of this radioactive marker substances, biochemical processes in the organism keep track of. Subsequently, the stress-reactions were observed, the rats by dominant conspecifics know.
On the basis of the Tracer, the research team was working on a brain area of particular attention, since this was under stress, exposure to unusually active and the Hypothalamus is affected, which is the main control center of the autonomic nervous system. As a result, a stress is occurred due to physical reaction, which included a rise in blood pressure, body temperature and a faster heart rate. However, when the researchers blocked the connection to the Hypothalamus, was the physical reaction.
New therapeutic approach for stress-related disorders
The study shows for the first time, like a circuit in the brain targeted for the transmission of stress signals to the Hypothalamus and that Blockade of this cycle, the stress was able to reduce symptoms in the rats.
Connection between the body and the mind
“The DP/DTT are parts of the brain involved in the processing of emotions and Stress,” says Professor Nakamura. The newly discovered DP/DTT-the Hypothalamus-is the signal path of a brain mechanism for a connection between the body and the mind and offer therefore a potential target for the treatment of stress-related disorders, such as panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychogenes fever. (vb)
Read also: stress relief: de-Stress made easy.