Fear

Fear

Microbes In Our Gut Can Affect Our Emotions

Studies in animals are helping reveal how the microbes that live in our guts can affect our emotions.

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Complexity of a Cell Network Regulating a Fear Circuit

The brain’s astonishing complexity has been appreciated for over 100 years, when pioneers first looked at the profusion of branching structures that connect individual nerve cells under a microscope.

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Brain Circuit Board

Fear and anxiety are often described as primal responses to danger, with their emotional and physiological components triggered by a single fear circuit in the brain.

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Children born to older fathers have a higher risk of developing mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. Now, a new study suggests that age-related genetic mutations accumulated in the fathers’ genomes are unlikely to explain much of this increased risk.

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TAKEAWAY: Researchers have identified a molecular pathway in a specific neural connection in the brain that is disrupted in patients with 22q11 deletion syndrome, a genetic error that is associated with schizophrenia. The pathway, which relies on a microRNA called miR-338-3p, is involved in neural communication between regions of the brain that are likely involved in auditory hallucinations and psychosis, suggesting it may be a potential drug target for alternative therapeutic strategies

In people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear-associated brain circuits overreact to cues that are similar to—but not the same as—features of a past traumatic experience.

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