A way to treat mental disorders?

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  • 21% of adults are affected by anxiety disorders in their lifetime.
  • Existing anxiolytic medications are not always effective for all patients and often cause side effects.

“Until now, little was known about how the cerebellum controls neural activity in other areas of the brain, including those related to fear and anxiety.” Researchers Charlotte Lawrence and Elena Passi, from the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neurosciences at the University of Bristol in England, said in a statement.

To understand how the cerebellum affects an area of ​​the brain called “Periaqueductal gray matter”Which coordinate survival mechanisms, including fear-induced responses, scientists conducted a study that was pre-published on the BioRxiv website on December 11.

To carry out their work, they equipped rats with electrodes to record neuronal activity in the “periaqueductal gray matter” region of the brain. They transmit a sound analogous to a short kick that triggers fear memory formation and stabilizes the brain.

Passive interactions in the cerebellum may be responsible for fear disorders

“Our results suggest that the cerebellum is part of the survival network that regulates fear memory processes at multiple scales and in multiple ways, raising the possibility that dysfunctional interactions in the cerebellar survival network may be at the origin of fear-related disorders.” “ Can we read in the works.

According to the authors, the research sheds new light on how periaqueductal gray matter encodes fear memory. They “Prove also that the cerebellum is an additional important structure in the list of brain regions that contribute to fear and anxiety networks and is a new target for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder”, Developed by neuroscientists.

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