(ORDO NEWS) — The absence of a specific serotonin receptor (a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood regulation) can reduce previously acquired fear responses.
This conclusion was made by scientists at the Ruhr University in Bochum.
During the experiment, experts found that mice deprived of this receptor are much easier to wean from fear than wild ones.
The authors of the study believe that the findings will help develop more effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Therapy of this disease is often not effective enough, because patients cannot get rid of the internalized fear reactions.
As clinical psychologist Olga Valaeva told Izvestia, blocking only serotonin receptors is just one of the elements that will make it possible to change PTSD therapy.
“This is a solitary study. It is interesting from the point of view of working with such a destructive state as fear. But this is only the first step, and therapy and the creation of drugs are still very far away, ”the specialist noted.
Previously, scientists from the University of Queensland found the key to managing fear in “junk” DNA, which does not code for proteins.
Researchers for a long time did not understand what role it plays in the functioning of the body. In the new study, a team of experts sequenced 433 long, non-coding RNAs from understudied regions of the human genome.
They identified a new gene, which they named ADRAM. The analysis showed that the gene not only acts as a scaffold for molecules inside the cell, but also helps the memory to get rid of traumatic memories.
According to scientists, the study paved the way for the development of new treatments for mental disorders.
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