Scientists find an anxiety-reducing gene 2023

At least once in their lifetime, one in four individuals will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Psychological trauma can cause genetic, biochemical, and morphological changes in neurons in the amygdala, the region of the brain affected by stress-induced anxiety, resulting in the development of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter have identified a gene in the brain that is responsible for anxious emotions in a recent study. According to a press release from the University of Bristol, gene modification reduces anxiety levels, providing a new therapeutic focus for anxiety disorders. Nature Communications published online the discovery.

Existing anti-anxiety medications are ineffective, with more than half of patients failing to achieve remission following treatment. According to the statement, limited effectiveness is associated with a lack of understanding of the neural circuits underlying anxiety and the molecular events resulting in stress-related neuropsychiatric states.

Anxious emotions are linked to a specific gene in the brain, according to new research.

The objective of this research was to identify the molecular events in the brain associated with anxiety. In animal models, the focus was on molecules known as miRNAs. This group is also present in the human brain and regulates multiple target proteins that control the amygdala’s cellular processes.

In this study, the researchers demonstrated that increased miR483-5p, a type of molecule, inhibited the expression of another gene, Pgap2, which is responsible for neuronal morphological alterations in the brain and anxiety-related behavior. Consequently, the study demonstrated that miR-483-5p functions as a molecular brake, balancing stress-induced amygdala alterations to promote anxiety relief.

This is the initial step toward the discovery of novel, urgently required treatments for anxiety disorders. Multiple neuropsychiatric disorders founded in an adverse combination of genetic and environmental factors can be triggered by stress.

Dr. Valentina Mosienko, one of the study’s lead authors, said in a statement, “While low levels of stress are counterbalanced by the brain’s natural ability to adapt, severe or prolonged traumatic experiences can overcome the protective mechanisms of stress resilience, leading to the development of pathological conditions such as depression or anxiety.”

We have identified a pathway that has enormous potential for the development of anti-anxiety therapies.

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