Neurons Can Be Driven to Minimize the Onset of Anxiety

Arousal-Related Neurons Can Be Driven to Minimize the Onset of Anxiety & Depression, Says New Study

A revolutionary study by the University of North Carolina Health Care, composing a team of doctors and mental health experts – Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera, PhD, Randall Ung, PhD, and Garret Stuber, PhD – envisions a fully-treated set of psychological illnesses via a population of chemicals in the brain. As expected, the findings imply a brighter future in the psychological field. 


First observed on BNST cells in mice, this population of brain chemicals are known to be responsible for arousing emotions in the brain. As it turned out, these arousal-related neurons prove to be responsible for either mitigating or aggravating abnormal arousals in the brain. Accordingly, these abnormal arousals have been linked to almost all psychological disorders (but most commonly anxiety and depression). 


The arousal-related neurons in the brain can be driven to minimize the symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Delving Deeper Into the Study 

The authors of the study emphasized clear-cut progress in mental health care should their study be supported for furthering out. On that end, they suggest that, if successful, they could be able to artificially force the chemicals’ activity to produce arousal responses. These responses manifest as:


  • Faster heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Aggravated anxiety-like behaviors


What action aims to achieve:


  • Give light to the neural source/ emotional core in the brain. 


By then:


  • The results, in turn, would direct future treatment actions towards the right course. 


“This work not only identifies a new population of neurons implicated in arousal and anxiety but also opens the door for future experiments to systematically examine how molecularly defined cell types contribute to complex emotional and physiological states… This will be critical going forward for developing new treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders”, Stuber explained during a press conference in November 2020. 


Analyzing the Implications 

As implicated herein, neuroscience is extremely baffling to this day and just beginning its discoveries. And it makes sense. The brain is our most complex organ. Needless to say, one neural behavior in the brain is densely entangled with a population of other neural movements. Therefore, one cannot entirely rationalize certain highs and lows in chemical movements without first getting a hang of the brain’s entire wiring system. Fortunately for the proponents, it only needed a few doses of basic neuroscience, intricate cataloging of the BNST Pnoc neuron subgroups, and an unfading commitment to the study.


Where are these neural subgroups located? Well, you will be surprised to find out that these complex neurons populate a minute part of the already-tiny amygdala. Super-baffling, isn’t it?


To learn more about what’s going on in your mind, talk to us at MindShift Wellness center or visit any branches near me. 


The success of the study respectively traces back to the constant support of the following institutions: 


  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  • Yang Biomedical Scholars Award 
  • Brain and Behavior Research Foundation 
  • The Children’s Tumor Foundation
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • National Institute of Mental Health


Why is the Study Important?


The Ongoing Pandemic 

This study reports that the instability, unrest, and irregularities that arise with the ongoing pandemic intensify emotional distress like never before. So, it comes without surprise that psychological unrest peaks high during these times.


The Continuously-Elevating Cases of Depression and Anxiety Worldwide

It may come in various faces, roots, forms, and manifestations, but depression remains distinct in terms of the affliction it costs us. 


The mystery of depression, anxiety, and the long list of other psychological illnesses is yet to be uncovered. So far, the psychiatric field has only been partially successful in terms of preventing and mitigating the symptoms of the said illnesses. This study, at a glance, promises a fortunate prospect of fully-treated mental afflictions in the future. Who wouldn’t want that?


What is Our Overall Take on the Study?

Undoubtedly, the study is revolutionary both in its nature and intent. While it does not come without the expected setbacks (especially that it has only been tested on mice), it certainly holds a promise in mental healthcare. Provided that the researchers observe safety measures, damage control procedures, and medical ethics (which are sure to be observed) before realizing the study into a procedure, then we won’t see any problems in the future.


The future of mental health and wellness could be paved by this revolutionary study.


What Do You Think of this Study/Issue? Do You Think it Can Help You?

Talk to us at MindShift Psychological Services today to answer these questions. Take part in the process by expressing your opinion. Converse with our trained therapists and psychologists. Seek conversations within our Family TherapyIndividual Therapy, and  Couples Counseling. Visit any of the branches near me in California by Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Corona. Also see branches located in Southern California – Century City, Costa Mesa, and Brentwood.