Discover how researchers have identified an innovative and effective way to fight anxiety by manipulating the expression of certain genes.
Hope for people with anxiety
With the increasing number of anxiety cases worldwide, the need for new treatments is more than urgent. Current medications are not effective enough for many patients, and access to psychologists remains complicated. It is in this context that researchers from the universities of Bristol and Exeter have discovered a new avenue for the development of anti-anxiety drugs. This advance could potentially change the lives of millions of people suffering from this condition.
The key: gene expression
Scientists have found that stimulating certain genes, which naturally reduce anxiety, may be the answer. By manipulating these genes in mice, they have obtained promising results. The discovery of this new treatment method could revolutionize the way we approach and treat anxiety.
The miRNA miR483-5p: a hope for fighting anxiety
Research has focused on the use of the miRNA miR483-5p, which acts in the amygdala, a brain region involved in the regulation of emotions and therefore linked to anxiety. By manipulating this miRNA in mice, the researchers discovered that it acts on the Pgap2 gene, which leads to changes in the neuronal morphology of the brain and the behavior associated with anxiety. Thus, miR483-5p is able to block the effects of amygdala-induced stress, inhibiting anxiety.
If this occurs naturally, why do we suffer from anxiety?
One might ask why some people suffer from anxiety if this natural mechanism exists. The answer lies in the fact that this process only works at reduced levels of stress. When the stress is caused by an acute traumatic event or persists for a long time, the natural mechanisms are no longer sufficient.
This is where therapy and, in some cases, anti-anxiety medications come into play. If a drug were developed that could increase the effect of this miRNA, it might be possible to counteract anxiety even when the stress is greater.
A major advance in the fight against anxiety
This discovery opens the way to new anti-anxiety drugs. Nevertheless, we must not forget that psychological therapy remains essential. It is crucial to continue to fight for all people to have access to psychological care, regardless of their economic resources. Thanks to this scientific breakthrough, we can hope for a significant improvement in the management of anxiety, for a better quality of life for the millions of people affected. As we look forward to the development of these new treatments, we must continue to support access to psychological therapy for all.