Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Coming Undone: How Stress Unravels The Brain's Structure

Date:
March 4, 2009
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
The helpless behavior that is commonly linked to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder is preceded by stress-related losses of synapses -- microscopic connections between brain cells -- in the brain's hippocampal region, researchers report.

The helpless behavior that is commonly linked to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is preceded by stress-related losses of synapses—microscopic connections between brain cells—in the brain's hippocampal region, researchers at Yale School of Medicine report in the March 1 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Related Articles


The team used a six-day treatment with the antidepressant desipramine to reverse helpless behavior and restore hippocampal synapses in rats.

"In clinical practice, the main problem with antidepressants is that they require weeks to exert their effect," said lead scientist on the project Tibor Hajszan, M.D., associate research scientist in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. "Because there are ways to restore these lost hippocampal synapses in as little as hours or even minutes, our laboratory is currently testing rapid-acting antidepressants that could provide immediate relief from depressive symptoms."

Mental health disorders, including depression, are rapidly becoming the second largest public health problem, said Hajszan. "This is magnified by the fact that current antidepressant drugs remain ineffective in the majority of patients," he said.

Researchers have suspected for years that changes in synapses may play a role in depression neurobiology. In this study, Hajszan and his team studied helpless behavior in rats and used electron microscopy to analyze directly what happens to hippocampal synapses in the presence or absence of helpless behavior.

"Because synapses have the potential for rapid response, synapse loss probably underlies the rapid deterioration of mood that depressed patients sometimes experience," said Hajszan. "Thus, it is possible to elevate mood rapidly by generating new hippocampal synapses, which is attainable by certain drugs we are testing."

Other authors on the study included Antonia Dow, Jennifer L. Warner-Schmidt, Klara Szigeti-Buck, Nermin L. Sallam, Arpad Parducz, Csaba Leranth and Ronald S. Duman.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Coming Undone: How Stress Unravels The Brain's Structure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091333.htm>.
Yale University. (2009, March 4). Coming Undone: How Stress Unravels The Brain's Structure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091333.htm
Yale University. "Coming Undone: How Stress Unravels The Brain's Structure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091333.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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