University Of Bristol Logo Anxiety disorders appear as the most common cause of disability in the US workplace. In an attempt to fight this natural response to stress, researchers laid hands on a protein that is extremely vital in the exhibition of anxiety-like symptoms. The study findings can supposedly aid in developing novel treatments for anxiety disorders.

The protein’s normal function apparently is to identify and respond towards the neurotransmitter L-glutamate. This neurotransmitter allegedly contains chemicals that mediate communication between nerve cells in the brain and nervous system. In the course of the research, Professor David Lodge and colleagues found a number of subtypes of glutamate receptor proteins.

An animal model lacking one particular subtype, the mGlu2 receptor was put to test. Those without this receptor reported anxiety-like behaviors which point out symptoms of human anxiety disorders. Medications interfering with several types of mGlu receptors can presumably benefit those diagnosed with anxiety disorders. However, the findings can seemingly allow future drug development to selectively target the mGlu2 receptor subtype.

The research is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.