Anxiety: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Thursday, 17 Feb 2011 01:56 PM

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Scientists have finally discovered the biological link between stress, anxiety, and depression. They have identified the interconnecting mechanism in the brain which has enabled them to show how stress and anxiety often lead to depression. This breakthrough discovery has opened more than one way to treat anxiety and depression.

Stephen Ferguson, professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, Canada, has discovered a small molecule inhibitor, which can help provide a new and better way to treat anxiety, depression, and other related disorders.

The scientists led by Ferguson and Ana Magalhaes conducted a series of molecular experiments to expose the connect pathway and to test the new inhibitor. They used a behavioral mouse model.

These findings might very well pave the way for the development of a whole new range of drugs to selectively target anxiety to help tackle anxiety attacks and treat it more efficaciously. According to the scientist involved in the research project, the next step is to develop this inhibitor into an effective pharmaceutical agent.

The World Health Organization says that depression, anxiety, and other related mood disorders are the most prevalent causes of chronic illnesses in the modernized world.

It has also been discovered that with  mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), people with diabetes are able to relieve stress and anxiety. A pilot study conducted on diabetes patients found that patients who practiced MBSR showed lower blood pressure levels as well as reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

Scientists have recognized seven attitudes that are taught during mindfulness meditation to cure anxiety disorders. They include: Be non-judgmental, use a beginner's mind, have patience, be non-striving (do not try to make something happen, concentrate on the present moment), trust (yourself and your environment), accept what you are given, and lastly, let go.


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