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What Does Chronic Stress Mean at the Molecular Level?

A team of scientist have found that stress can effect  the front receptors of the brain and change the structure  in its frontal lobe. Within the experiment scientists found that there is a loss in glutamate receptors within adolescents when put under severe stress.

Zhen Yan, PhD, a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and her team published the findings in this month's edition of Neuron.The say:

We have identified a causal link between molecules and behaviors involved in stress responses, it's the first time that the loss of a glutamate receptor has been causally linked to the negative effects of chronic or repeated stress."

"... If, based on this research, we can begin to target the glutamate system in a more specific and effective way, we might be able to develop better drugs to treat serious mental illness ... While there have been many behavioral studies about stress, understanding stress at a molecular level is key to developing strategies to prevent stress-induced behavioral deficits ... In the end, it has to be boiled down to molecules. Without knowing why something happens at a molecular level, you cannot do anything about it."

Stress, an emotion manifesting on a physical plain

The research conducted by Dr Zhen Yan and her team is fantastic, since this shows that an emotion can manifest on a molecular or physical plain and that the body is not just a machine with parts that need fixing, but the body and mind should be treated as a whole ( the ethics of complementary medicine). Dr Zhen Yan explained in her conclusion that because of this research they can develop better drugs or mood stabilizers to ease the conditions of stress or depression, though I do not believe this is the right action to take. The stress is indeed a catalyst within the physical problem though the body can heal itself if the emotion is dealt with not suppressed with hard mood stabilizing drugs.

Sourced from medical news

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