Stress Can Physically Change Communication in the Brain

A new study, performed by a team of scientists from LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, US, finds that astrocytes, brain cells regulating neuronal communication, show long-term degradation affected by stress.Stress Can Physically Change Communication in the Brain

For the study, the researchers used mice. They found that a single stressful event can cause long-lasting changes to an astrocyte. Under stress, the astrocytes shrink away from synapses resulting in disruption of neural communication.

Lead study author Si-Qiong June Liu says: “Stress alters brain function and produces lasting changes in human behavior and physiology. Investigation of the neurobiology of stress can reveal how stress affects neuronal connections and hence brain function. This knowledge is necessary for developing strategies to prevent or treat these common stress-related neurological disorders.”

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