Friday, September 15, 2017

Could a stress hormone prevent disease after being exposed to a traumatic event?

       In the article on ScienceDaily, it briefly discusses the research that was conducted at the Universitat de Neurociéncies of the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. After exposing mice to a traumatic event, researchers discovered that the Ppm1f (protein phosphatase 1f) gene was altered in the mice's brains. Ppm1f is responsible for regulating the activity of Camk2 (calmodulin-dependant protein kinase 2). This protein is imperative in many bodily processes including in memory encoding,  heart functioning and in the immune system. This sheds light on how individuals who suffer from PTSD from being in a traumatic event have a heightened susceptibility to developing heart disease, cancer, or many other physical diseases.
      In order to find a treatment option that could ultimately prevent these physical diseases from developing as a result of stress, researchers injected mice with glucocorticoid, which is a stress hormone, an hour after exposing them to stress. The results concluded that glucocorticoid was able to prevent the alterations in the Ppm1f gene, which also reduced anxiety and depression. I found it to be particularly interesting that a stress hormone, which is secreted in the brain as a result of stress, was able to prevent changes to the Ppm1f gene. Due to this paradox that a stress hormone could potentially prevent diseases, I believe that this finding will broaden the horizons for future research in medicine.

1 comment:

  1. I found this article and post very interesting. It's unfortunate that people who suffer from PTSD are more inclined to physical diseases. The discovery that a stress hormone actually reduces diseases will hopefully begin the study and research of other hormones for the same purpose. Perhaps the result of this experiment will aid in the discovery of cures for many other diseases.