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Increasing Glutamate Lowers Anxiety In Monkeys

Scientists studying female and male marmosets have homed in on the monkey brain circuitry accountable for separate differences in general anxiety. Their results, posted in JNeurosci, show that rising amounts of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the hippocampus neutralizes “fight or flight” response of anxious monkey.

Earlier animal and human studies recommend roles for the hippocampus, glutamate, and two prefrontal brain areas (dubbed as area 32 and area 25) in the physiological and behavioral response to threat. On the other hand, the interaction and contribution of these neural elements in extremely anxious primates is not clear.

Hannah Clarke and associates were capable of making anxious monkeys more contented with a foreign human, who wore different masks to hide her or his identity, by elevating glutamate release in the frontal hippocampus. In reaction to an unforeseen loud sound, elevated hippocampal glutamate was related with increased heart rate, blood pressure, and scanning of the surrounding—all of which are fraction of a typical threat reaction and lowered in anxious people.

On a related note, new study can assist explain why stress in early life can generate anxiety disorders and vulnerabilities to mood later on. The research, spearheaded by scientists at The Ohio State University, was shown this week at the yearly Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, and underlines the significant role of mast cells.

“These are immune cells comprised in allergic reactions that traditionally were overlooked by neuroscientists, but now we are discovering results in rodent models that they can be accountable for some of the modifications we witness after a childhood trauma in neurodevelopment,” claimed an assistant professor at Ohio State for psychology and the senior author of the study, Kathryn Lenz, to the media in an interview.

Angela Saulsbery (study lead author) claimed that she is especially interested in how this study may start to attract molecular-level links between adolescent & adult anxiety & depression and adverse childhood experiences.