A group of scientists from the University of Leicester (United Kingdom) have managed to identify a protein, the lipocalin-2, which allows us to better understand the brain's way of coping with stress and mitigate its consequences. The researchers examined nerve cells present in the brain, which play the role of assimilating knowledge and remembering them, and proved that memories can be modified to reduce the stress caused by the saddest.
The study, whose results have been published Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has proven that by producing such protein the brain prevents people from suffering from excessive anxiety, and also improves their ability to cope with adversity.
Because of stress, nerve cells vary in their morphology, the number of connections they maintain with other cells, and the way in which they communicate with neurons. These are adaptive responses, which benefit the brain and help it manage stress and find an appropriate behavioral response
Robert Pawlak, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Leicester, explains that when we undergo stressful situations, nerve cells vary in their morphology, the number of connections they maintain with other cells, and the way in which they communicate with neurons. . These are adaptive responses, which benefit the brain and help it manage stress and find an appropriate behavioral response.
In periods of severe stress it can happen that the brain loses control, and the brain cells located in the hippocampus, the region of the brain where learning and memory tasks are located, become ill and stop communicating effectively with other cells.
The brain does not usually produce lipocalin-2, as Dr. Pawlak explains, but it increases its production significantly to deal with the stress that affects the hippocampus. Thus, when the researchers added the protein to the cultured neurons, they observed that they were without memory spines.
During the study they found that by eliminating lipocalin-2 in the brain of the mice, the animals presented more anxiety than the other mice. Researchers cautioned that in mice lacking lipocalin-2, memory spines formed more easily after experiencing a tense situation and, as a result, the presence of intense memories increased. traumatic event.
Scientists believe that the brain secretes lipocalin-2 to avoid excessive anxiety and to improve the individual's ability to cope with adverse situations. Identifying lipocalin-2 can be used to better manage stress since, if not properly controlled, it can lead to psychiatric illnesses.
Source: EUROPE PRESS