Gene that changes the brainas response to stress identified

Posted: April 14, 2010 at 2:56 am

Story Summary: Gene That Changes the Brains Response to Stress Identified Stress can literally warp your brain, reshaping some brain structures that help cope with lifes pressures. In the short term, the stress response can be helpful — i. e. , fight or flight — but over time it leads to a wear and tear that can cause disease in both the brain and other parts of the body. The researchers, from Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medical College, found that these mice had brains resembling those of normal mice after extended stress. If researchers can find a way to deplete or supplement BDNF in adult mice, they may be able to answer the question of when in development, or even in adult life, it has the greatest impact. What were seeing is that there may be a developmental window for BDNFs role, or also that there may be a floor and a ceiling for the right amount of the protein that helps enable adaptive plasticity, McEwen says. Story Source:Adapted from materials provided by . Journal Reference:Magarinos et al. Effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor haploinsufficiency on stress-induced remodeling of hippocampal neurons. Tracings of neurons from mice with different levels of BDNF show that a short supply of the protein causes relatively shrunken neurons (right) in some parts of the hippocampus. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:FeedbackTell us what you think of the new ScienceDaily — we welcome both positive and negative comments….Read the Full Story

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