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Depression’s “Transcriptional Signatures” Differ in Men vs. Women

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Brain gene expression associated with depression differed markedly between men and women in a study by NIMH-funded researchers.  Such divergent “transcriptional signatures” may signal divergent underlying illness processes that may require sex-specific treatments, they suggest. Experiments in chronically-stressed male and female mice that developed depression-like behaviors largely confirmed the human findings.

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MAGIC MUSHROOMS COULD HELP TREAT DEPRESSION

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A new study has revealed the positive effects of magic mushrooms treating depression. The study goes on to say: “The post-treatment brain changes are different to previously observed acute effects of psilocybin and other ‘psychedelics’ yet were related to clinical outcomes. A ‘reset’ therapeutic mechanism is proposed.”

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Love your beauty rest? You can thank these brain cells

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Researchers report the unexpected presence of a type of neuron in the brains of mice that appears to play a central role in promoting sleep by turning ‘off’ wake-promoting neurons. The newly identified brain cells, located in a part of the hypothalamus called the zona incerta, they say, could offer novel drug targets to treat sleep disorders, such as insomnia and narcolepsy, caused by the dysfunction of sleep-regulating neurons.

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Cannot sleep due to stress? Here is the cure

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Everyone empirically knows that stressful events certainly affect sound sleep. Scientists have found that the active component rich in sugarcane and other natural products may ameliorate stress and help having sound sleep.

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Stress Triggers Obesity

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When something goes wrong at work or issues arise in your romantic relationship, you may feel an urge to eat. This is called emotional eating and it’s caused by stress. If this stress isn’t dealt with properly it can lead to serious health consequences. In fact, a new study shows that too much stress over an extended period of time can contribute to obesity. Researchers analysed four years of data from over 2,500 men and women over the age for 54. The study found that “exposure to higher levels of cortisol over several months is associated with people being more heavily, and more persistently, overweight.” While more research is needed, it could be possible that reducing your stress could be a new method of treating obesity.

 

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Stress Increases Empathy

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Stress can bring out the worst in us. In fact, stress can contribute to negative habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and overeating. But, surprisingly, moderate or low levels of stress can also have positive benefits. Small amounts of stress can motivate you to succeed, it can strengthen your resolve, and, according to one study, it can also increase empathy.

For the empathy study, the 80 male participants were shown photos of painful medical procedures and the researchers studied MRI scans of their brains. The MRI results showed that the participants’ “neural empathy network reacted more strongly to images of painful medical procedures” when the participants were under stress. The study results also showed that stressed participants were also more generous with others.

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Brain regulates social behaviour differently in males and females, study reveals

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The brain regulates social behaviour differently in males and females, according to a new study. A team of researchers has discovered that serotonin (5-HT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) act in opposite ways in males and females to influence aggression and dominance. Because dominance and aggressiveness have been linked to stress resistance, these findings may influence the development of more effective gender-specific treatment strategies for stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

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