Stress is linked to depression
Tuesday 18 April 2006
Scientists already knew that many people with depression had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. But it was not clear whether cortisol caused the condition or was a consequence of it.
The new study provides strong evidence that long-term exposure to cortisol contributes to the symptoms of depression. The researchers from Harvard Medical School exposed 58 mice to cortisol for both short and long periods of time. The animals were then tested by being placed in a small dark compartment.
Mice given the stress hormone for more than two weeks took significantly longer to emerge from the compartment into a brightly lit open field. They were more fearful and less willing to explore a new environment. Chronic treatment also dulled their reactions to startling stimuli.
The findings, published in the journal Behavioural Neuroscience, fit in with human evidence. People with Cushing's disease, in which too much cortisol is released, commonly suffer depression and anxiety. People receiving corticosteroid therapy for inflammatory conditions and other disorders are also known to have mood problems.
Life & Style blogs
GTA 5 Online DLC: San Andreas Flight School update brings 16-seater jet plane and more
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
David Beckham fronts the campaign for his underwear autumn/winter collection, which hit stores today
London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
NHS patients to be seen by 'doctors on the cheap'
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...
£40000 - £43000 Per Annum plus company bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Computer Futures has been est...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...