Do you find it difficult to deal with stress? Attentive, a new vaccine based on probiotics that could protect against post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression, which is known to affect one in four people in your life, could soon be on the anvil, say researchers .
Several studies have suggested that stress-induced brain inflammation increases the risk of such disorders, in part by affecting the neurotransmitters that influence mood like norepinephrine or dopamine. Therefore, in the new study, the researchers showed that immunization with beneficial bacteria can have long-lasting anti-inflammatory effects on the brain, making it more resistant to the physical and behavioral effects of stress.
"If you look at the field of probiotics in general, it has been shown to have strong effects on the domains of cognitive function, anxiety and fear," said Christopher Lowry, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado- Boulder Read: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can seriously affect life and relationships if not treated at the right time.
"The study helps make sense by suggesting that these beneficial microbes or signals derived from these microbes somehow make their way to the hippocampus, which induces an anti-inflammatory state," Lowry added. For the study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, the team injected male rats with the bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae) three times, a week apart.
Eight days after the final injection, they demonstrated significantly higher levels of the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-4 in the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for modulating cognitive function, anxiety and fear. Immunized rats exhibited less anxious behavior after stress, indicating that M. vaccae could be administered to people at high risk of PTSD to buffer the effects of stress on the brain and body. Read: 10 Ways to Care for a Loved One with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
"We found that in rodents, this particular bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, actually changes the environment in the brain into an anti-inflammatory state," said Matthew. Frank, badociate researcher at the University. "If you could do that in people, it could have broad implications for a number of neuroinflammatory diseases," he said.
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Published: June 7, 2018 at 3:07 p.m.