Professor Bill Colmers The health zone recently stumbled upon an astonishing discovery which can benefit people suffering from anxiety disorders. A team of scientists claims that blocking a process in nerve cells decreases anxiety. The research findings can help design novel drugs for treating anxiety disorders.

Present day anxiety medications appear non-selective, so they inhibit various neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain, even those which are not required. Since all kinds of neurons are subjected to treatment, it may lead to a number of undesirable side-effects including drowsiness. Thanks, to this discover that scientists can now develop more specific treatments for anxiety disorders with fewer undesirable side effects and a better quality of life. While analyzing the brain to ascertain the processes behind high and low anxiety levels, researchers laid hands on what triggers this process. Two chemical messengers in a specific part of the brain apparently control anxiety.

The messenger neuropeptide Y seemingly makes an individual less anxious. On the other hand, the corticotropin-releasing factor or CRF may make a person more anxious. Bill Colmers, a professor of pharmacology and researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, and colleagues believe that these two chemical messengers manage the way nerve cell gets ‘excitable.’ During tests on laboratory models, it appeared that blocking the process responsible for regulating cell excitability results in less anxiety. Blocking this process supposedly creates the same effect as the chemical messenger neuropeptide Y, which makes people less anxious.

The research is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Neuroscience in December’s edition.