A group of scientists from Universities of Bristol and Exeter opened a new goal for development drugs for anxiety. This is based on the stimulation of a number of genes, the expression of which naturally reduces anxiety.

It is important to find new treatments as the number of cases of anxiety is increasing worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, in 2019 300 million people those diagnosed with anxiety around the world. In addition, there were 58 million children and adolescents among them. And things got even worse after the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, cases of anxiety and depression have only increased.

Unfortunately, access to psychologists it’s still difficult. In Spain, for example, there are few people in the social security system, and not everyone can afford private. This is the first thing to fix. Meanwhile, many people, on the advice of their doctors, also prefer to take drugs for anxiety. But they are not effective enough. There are many cases where the desired effect is not achieved, mainly due to the fact that the neural mechanisms leading to anxiety are not well understood. That is why the discovery made by these scientists is so important.

Anxiety drugs based on gene expression

Very roughwhen scientists want to know the function of various genes, they including them And turn them off, checking what the resulting effects are. This can be done in a variety of ways, including using miRNA. These are molecules that regulate gene expression. That is, they regulate when they turn on or off.

For this study, the authors used microRNA miR483-5rwhose function is carried out in amygdala. This is an area of ​​the brain that is responsible for regulating emotions, among other things, so it’s not surprising that it is associated with anxiety.

By manipulating it in the brains of mice, they saw that miR483-5p acts on Pgap2 gene, which in turn causes changes in the morphology of neurons in the brain and behavior associated with anxiety. Therefore, it has been observed that this miRNA is able to block the effects that stress causes in the amygdala, suppressing anxiety.

If it happens naturally, why are we worried?

One might wonder why some people develop anxiety if it is a natural mechanism. The bottom line is that it only works for some reduced stress levels.

Everyone has stressful moments, but if they are punctual, we do not develop an anxiety disorder. This happens, among other things, thanks to regulators such as this one. However, when stress arises from acute traumatic event or just stay for a long timenatural mechanisms are no longer enough.

This is where therapy and, in some cases, anti-anxiety medication is needed. Therefore, if a drug were developed that would further enhance the action of this miRNA, anxiety could even be stopped. when the voltage is at its highest.

This is a very interesting key that opens the door to new anti-anxiety drugs. In the meantime, and even after that, we must not forget that psychological therapy is necessary, so we will have to continue the struggle to ensure that all people can access it, regardless of their economic resources.

Source: Hiper Textual

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