Researchers manage to control the anxiety in the mouse

Health 2 February, 2018


Published the 02.02.2018 at 17: 00


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18.1% of Americans feel anxiety. It may be related to difficult working conditions, too much pressure or even personal problems. If this situation continues, it can be dangerous for the health. The teams at the medical center of Columbia University and the University of California in the United States have worked on the anxiety. They have discovered that a “cell of anxiety” exists in the mouse. More surprising, they managed to control this cell to cause it or remove the anxiety. The results have been published on IFL Science.

Signals are sent to other parts of the brain

This cell of anxiety is present in the hippocampus of the mouse, a part of the brain that serves in particular to the memory and location in space. The scientists found that these cells are activated when the mouse is stressed. “To a mouse, when it is in an open space, exposed to predators or on a raised platform,” says Rene Hen, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia university. These cells send signals to other parts of the brain, which trigger behaviors of anxiety in the rodent. According to Rene Hen, if this cell exists in the mouse, it is also likely in man.

Control these cells through the optogénique

The researchers have managed to find a way to control the cell of the anxiety. They used optogenetics, a new research technique that combines the genetic optical. Thanks to beams of light sent to the cell, they can activate it or disable it. If they disable the cell, the mouse is quiet, seems to be less stressed. Conversely, if they activate it, the rodent shows the stress even if the environment is not stressful. For these scientists, the discovery of this cell will allow to enrich the research on stress and may be able to find a new solution more effective therapeutic.