NPR

Researchers Discover 'Anxiety Cells' In The Brain

Scientists who identified specific brain cells in mice that control anxiety say the discovery could provide insights that might eventually help people with panic disorder and social phobia.
Scientists zeroed in on specific neurons in the brains of mice to gain insights into how anxiety is triggered and suppressed. Source: SPL

Scientists have found specialized brain cells in mice that appear to control anxiety levels.

The finding, reported Wednesday in the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to better treatments for anxiety disorders, which affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.

"The therapies we have now have significant drawbacks," says , an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco and an author of the study. "This is another target that we can try to move the field forward for finding new therapies."

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPolitics
Streets Of San Juan A 'War Zone' As Protesters Call For Governor To Resign
Some of Puerto Rico's biggest stars attended, and tensions ratcheted up later when protesters burst through a barricade at the governor's mansion and security forces fired tear gas at the crowd.
NPR6 min read
The Water Crisis In Chennai: Who's To Blame, How Do You Fix It?
Reservoirs are dry in India's sixth biggest city. Municipal taps work only a few hours a day. Trains are delivering emergency water supplies.
NPR5 min readFood & Wine
Our Taste For Turtle Soup Nearly Wiped Out Terrapins. Then Prohibition Saved Them
By the turn of the 20th century, America's love affair with Diamondback Terrapin soup — a subsistence food turned gourmet fare — had left the turtle's population teetering. Booze ban to the rescue.