Molecule may aid anxiety patients

Washington: A recent study has revealed that boosting a molecule named neurotrophin-3 in the brain can change ‘dispositional anxiety’. Researchers found that neurotrophin-3 can trigger neurons to grow and make new connections. The study provides hope for new strategies focused on intervening early in life to treat people at risk for anxiety disorders, depression, and related substance abuse.

“There are millions of people worldwide who suffer from debilitating anxiety and depressive disorders,” said Andrew Fox, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology. The researchers used an altered virus to boost levels of neurotrophin-3 in the dorsal amygdala of juvenile rhesus macaques. They found that the increase of neurotrophin 0-3 in the dorsal amygdala leads to a decrease in anxiety-related behaviours, particularly behaviours associated with inhibition, a core feature of the early-life risk for developing anxiety disorders in humans.

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