A new research from neuroscientists at UC San Francisco and the Columbia University Irving Medical Center suggests that feeling of anxiety might be connected to the newly identified anxiety cell in the brain. The study was published in Neuron.
The researchers discovered this type of cells in the hippocampus in the brains of mice. The authors of the study believe that these cells also exist in human brains.
One of the senior investigators Rene Hen, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at CUIMC, explains: “We call these anxiety cells because they only fire when the animals are in places that are innately frightening to them. For a mouse, that’s an open area where they’re more exposed to predators, or an elevated platform.”
Researchers from the UK find that health anxiety fueled by looking up symptoms on the internet recourses is a growing problem in the United Kingdom. The condition can also be caused by previous health scares and could affect 1 in 5 hospital patients.
A team of researchers from Imperial College London and King’s College London says that the symptoms of health anxiety were often mistaken for those of physical illnesses and included pain in chest and headaches.
Prof Peter Tyrer, emeritus professor in community psychiatry at Imperial College London, says: “We suspect that [health anxiety] is increasing in frequency because of what is now called ‘cyberchondria’. This is because people now go to their GPs with a whole list of things they’ve looked up on the internet, and the poor GP, five minutes into the consultation, has four pages of reading to do.”
A recent report from the University of Waterloo in Canada shows that just 10 minutes of meditation is enough to overcome stress, anxiety, and boost your focus.
For the study, the researchers asked 82 people who considered themselves as anxious to perform a task on a computer with some interruptions during this task. Those persons who had a short meditation before starting the assignment showed better results compared to those who did not meditate.
Mengran Xu, a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the university mentioned above, explains: “We also found that meditation practice appears to help anxious people to shift their attention from their own internal worries to the present-moment external world, which enables better focus on a task at hand.”
A study, recently published in The BMJ, suggests that high levels of anxiety and depression could be linked to the increased death risk from certain types of cancer.
For their study, a team of researchers from University College London, University of Edinburgh, and University of Sydney, analysed data from 16 countries of 163,363 men and women aged 16 and over in a period from 1994 to 1998.
The authors of the study believe that their findings, though observational, add to the growing body of evidence that psychological distress can be connected to certain physical conditions. Dr David Batty, a lead author from University College London, says: “Our findings contribute to the evidence that poor mental health might have some predictive capacity for certain physical diseases but we are a long way off from knowing if these relationships are truly causal.”
More information about the study is here.
Anxiety disorders are usually characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where the first is a worry about the future events and the second is a reaction to current events.
Researchers from the United Kingdom found in a recent study that women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men. They also note that people who live in North America and Western Europe are more vulnerable to this disorder than those who live in other parts of the world. Data show that almost 8 of 100 people suffer from the condition. This is the highest number in the world. In East Asia, the number is less than 3 in 100, and this is the lowest number.
“Anxiety is important and shouldn’t be overlooked,” says lead researcher Olivia Remes from the University of Cambridge’s Strangeways Research Laboratory. “Sometimes people think that anxiety is just a part of their personality or that there’s nothing they can do about it, but there is.”
More information here.