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publicado em 04/08/2011 às 14h00:00
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Discovery of brain mechanism helps people with post-traumatic stress

Stress hormones stimulate biochemical processes in the neurons that play a role in learning and memory

 
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The discovery of a brain mechanism that explains why people give so much importance to memories and stressful events in their lives and could bring help to people suffering from post-traumatic stress.

The study, by researchers at the University of Henry Bristol, United Kingdom, the Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience & Endocrinology (LINE-HW), School of Clinical Sciences, and funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, was published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The survey found that stress hormones directly stimulate the biochemical processes in neurons, which play a role in learning and memory. The way these hormones stimulate epigenetic processes and signaling in neurons is completely new.

In a healthy brain these processes work well and help people and learn to deal with stressful life events. Already in vulnerable people? Or traumatized - as victims of rape or robbery - there may be a stressful event that triggers disruption resulting from the formation of highly traumatic memories, such as those observed in patients suffering from post-traumatic stress. The discovery could lead to new ways to develop drugs to help these patients and prevent these crises resulting trauma.

"The new findings may be important for patients suffering from post-traumatic stress. We hope our findings will generate a new class of drugs to help these patients." said the professor of neuroscience Johannes Reul.

The researchers found that stress induced by glucocorticoid hormones improved memory formation by physical interaction of glucocorticoid receptors with an intracellular signaling pathway in a specific population of neurons in the hippocampus.

This interaction has a major impact on the results of epigenetic signaling mechanisms stimulated in the nucleus of affected neurons, leading to increased expression of certain gene products. The gene products are known to evoke induced structural and functional changes in neurons, reinforcing their role in memory circuits.

To read this story in ínegra (in English), click aqui.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Post-traumatic stress    Mechanism    Brain    University of Bristol Henry   
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