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New Research on Stress

By November 25, 2005

stress.jpg Don't get too stressed-out while Christmas shopping. Several research projects have announced findings related to stress.
  • Researchers have visualized the effects of everyday psychological stress in a healthy human brain for the first time.
  • Stress may raise cholesterol in healthy adults.
  • The number of serotonin receptors in the brain affects our response to stress.


Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania reported visualizing the effects of everyday psychological stress in a healthy human brain for the first time. According to a Science Daily report the researchers found "increased cerebral blood-flow during the 'stress test' in the right anterior portion of the brain (prefrontal cortex) -- an area long associated with anxiety and depression....The increased cerebral blood-flow persisted even when the testing was complete. " Read more at Science Daily.

Other researchers found that individuals vary in their cholesterol responses to stress. Some of the participants in a study showed large increases in lipid levels and others show very little response. More details are in this APA press release.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburg found that the number of serotonin receptors in the brain affects our response to stress. "In a localized area of the prefrontal cortex, where thought and action are orchestrated, the number and ratio of serotonin receptors were found to be directly correlated to the activity of another part of the brain called the amygdala, critical for producing emotional states such as fear. " Read more of their findings in this Science Daily article.

Find out even more about stress...
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