Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rutgers Study Shows Learning Ability Under Stress Still Strong In Prozac-Treated Females

Date:
October 30, 2002
Source:
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey
Summary:
The drug Prozac protects a female's learning abilities after a stressful or traumatic event, according to a new research study conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The drug Prozac protects a female's learning abilities after a stressful or traumatic event, according to a new research study conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

"Depression is a devastating illness that is often accompanied in females by an inability to concentrate and learn," said Tracey J. Shors, an associate professor in the department of psychology. "Our data show that while Prozac is an effective drug for treating depression, it also protects females from the adverse effects of stress on learning."

Shors will present her findings in a paper, "Serontinergic Antidepressants Protect Females from the Adverse Effects of Stressful Experience on Learning," at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 1-6.

Shors and her research team, Benedetta Leuner, Jacqueline Falduto and Sabrina Mendolia, studied adult female rats treated with the antidepressant Prozac and a control group that received no treatment. They found that after a stressful event, learning was impaired in the control group but not in the group treated with Prozac. The researchers also found that only chronic treatment with Prozac was effective, which is consistent with reported efficacy of Prozac in patients with depression and other mental disorders.

"Importantly," Shors pointed out, "unstressed females treated with Prozac did not differ from unstressed, untreated females, indicating that Prozac itself did not affect learning."

Shors noted that males and females differ in their responses to stressful experiences. The researchers have found that exposure to a stressful experience that impairs new learning in females actually enhances new learning in males.

Since twice as many women experience depression and other stress-related mental illnesses as men, these data underscore the need to include females in research aimed at understanding the biology of mental illness, Shors said.

"It would be interesting to know whether Prozac affects learning in males after they have experienced a stressful event," she added.

Shors hopes to do more research to find out just how Prozac works in the brain. In other research, her team found that stressful experience alters the anatomy of neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region necessary for memory formation. Specifically, they found that exposure to stressful experience increases the presence of neuronal connections in the male hippocampus but reduces their presence in the female hippocampus. "We plan to investigate whether long-term treatment with Prozac also protects the female brain from other adverse effects of stressful experience, " Shors said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. "Rutgers Study Shows Learning Ability Under Stress Still Strong In Prozac-Treated Females." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021029071550.htm>.
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. (2002, October 30). Rutgers Study Shows Learning Ability Under Stress Still Strong In Prozac-Treated Females. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021029071550.htm
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey. "Rutgers Study Shows Learning Ability Under Stress Still Strong In Prozac-Treated Females." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021029071550.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins