Scientists discover “anxiety cells” in the brains of mice

Scientists discover “anxiety cells” in the brains of mice

PanARMENIAN.Net - Scientists have discovered “anxiety cells” in the brains of mice, with their findings having the potential to drastically benefit people who suffer from anxiety in future, The Independent reports.

A team of researchers, including some from Columbia University and the University of California, carried out an experiment with mice to determine how anxiety affects the brain.

Mazen Kheirbeck, co-author of the study and assistant professor at the University of California, explained how they went about assessing the mental state of their subjects.

“Mice tend to be afraid of open places,” he told NPR.

With that in mind, the researchers placed the mice in a maze that contained some wider open spaces so that they could monitor the activity of the brain cells at the bottom of the hippocampus when the mice began feeling anxious.

The hippocampus is a component of the brain’s limbic system, which regulates emotion.

When the mice entered the open areas of the maze, the researchers noted the cells at the bottom of the hippocampus becoming more active, thus exhibiting signs of anxiety.

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