ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
EYE CARE, VISION
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
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Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain

FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- For almost 7 million Americans, fear and anxiety isn't something associated with heights, a job interview or getting lost in a strange city.

It's a chronic state of worry and tension that affects twice as many women as men and grinds away for no apparent reason, slowly eroding their quality of life.

But a new study published in the current issue of Cell has made a discovery that offers sufferers hope for a more relaxed life.

Researchers at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, have identified a protein in the brain that triggers the fear response, and this could help with the development of new medications that block the protein or its pathways in brain cells.

"This is the first demonstration that this protein is implicated in fear-related behaviors," study author Vadim Bolshakov, director of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at McLean, said in a news release from the hospital. "By identifying this trigger, we now have a greater likelihood of developing medications that will turn off the fear switch in the brain, and therefore significantly reduce anxiety."

The researchers looked at the neurons in the amygdala of mice that didn't have the TRPC5 protein, and found that they did not fire as well as those in the brains of normal mice.

These mice would not be fearful exploring new places or coming into contact with other mice -- situations that would typically cause anxiety.

David Clapham, a professor of neurobiology and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, worked on the study and said that the protein is found throughout the brain, but highly concentrated in the amygdala, the part of the brain that is linked to emotions. Clapham also is the Aldo R. Castenada Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Children's Hospital Boston.

"These experiments provide genetic evidence that TRPC5 has an essential function in innate fear," the study's authors concluded.

"What we found with our work was that the mice who did not have the TRPC5 protein no longer showed fear-related behaviors when faced with situations that would typically cause them anxiety," Clapham said.

"At a practical level, it suggests some new potential molecular targets for treatments, some new kinds of treatments," Bolshakov added.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about anxiety.



-- Dennis Thompson



SOURCE: McLean Hospital, news release, May 15, 2009

Last Updated: May 15, 2009

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