Neuroscientists Found Anxiety Cells in Mouse Brains

Neuroscientists found anxiety cells in mouse brains, which seemed to be controlling the levels of anxiety. The new research published in the Neuron journal on Wednesday, could ultimately take scientists to more hopeful treatments of human anxiety disorders that currently affect about one in five US adults.

Assistant psychiatry professor and senior investigator, Mazen Kheirbek from the University of California San Francisco said in a statement that, “The therapies we have now have significant drawbacks. This is another target that we can try to move the field forward for finding new therapies.”


Kheirbek told that a team of researchers from the Irving Medical Center of Columbia University and UCSF aimed to understand actually where the emotional thoughts that become anxiety feelings are encoded in the brain.

Specific anxiety levels are lucrative for humans as well as many other animals, while facing a critical situation by keeping alert. But the same if excess, it becomes a disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). There are some common examples of anxiety disorder being seen including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and general anxiety disorder.

Leading study researchers, PhD, Rene Hen, who is a psychiatry professor at the Irving Medical Center of Columbia University, said that, “We call these anxiety cells because they only fire when the animals are in places that are innately frightening to them. For a mouse, that’s an open area where they’re more exposed to predators, or an elevated platform.”

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