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Stress

Short-Term Stress May Have Long-Term Effects on Neurons

19 years, 3 months ago

5709  0
Posted on Sep 30, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Short periods of extreme stress may have long-term effects on brain cells, according to researchers. Dr Hermona Soreq and colleagues discovered that stress alters the production of a brain protein that is needed for nerves to function correctly. Results of the study on mice showed that exposure to stressful situations led the body to produce a slightly different version of the chemical acetylcholinesterase (AChE) called AchE-R, which appeared to make nerve cells oversensitive to neurotransmitters for several weeks.

Short periods of extreme stress may have long-term effects on brain cells, according to researchers. Dr Hermona Soreq and colleagues discovered that stress alters the production of a brain protein that is needed for nerves to function correctly. Results of the study on mice showed that exposure to stressful situations led the body to produce a slightly different version of the chemical acetylcholinesterase (AChE) called AchE-R, which appeared to make nerve cells oversensitive to neurotransmitters for several weeks. While it is not yet clear if the same happens to humans, the researchers say that the findings could help to explain how stress can produce long-term problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Science 2002; 295:508-512

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