Anxiety in genes! | Health - Hindustan Times

Anxiety in genes!

PTI | ByAsian News International, London
Aug 21, 2004 05:23 PM IST

Women may be more prone to stress-related anxiety and mood disorders because of their genes.

Women may be more prone to stress-related anxiety and mood disorders because of their genes, claims a study carried out by the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse.

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According to the BBC, American researchers using 190 male and female monkeys, discovered a variation in a gene that controls regulation of a key brain chemical linked to moods. People with this gene variant, known as S Allele, are more likely to become depressed sooner, they claimed.

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Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study found that female monkeys with S Allele, who are attached to their group members, showed higher levels of stress hormones.

Based on their findings, the researchers now hope that they will be able to predict, treat and ultimately prevent certain human neuro-psychiatric disorders.

"Were we to turn our attention to humans rather than monkeys, related research is available which draws different conclusions. For example, the level of stress related hormone found in the blood stream fluctuates according to our levels of exercise, diet and the quality of our human relations," the report quoted Iain Ryrie, assistant director of research at the Mental Health Foundation, as saying.

"There is much we can do after our genes are laid down to enhance our ability to cope with stress and thus avoid some of its debilitating consequences," he added.

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