Precision drugs sought for anxiety disorders

Researchers in the University of Helsinki, Finland, are striving to find out how cell communication regulating kainate receptors contribute to the susceptibility towards anxiety disorders. The intention is to also develop drugs that would be effective against prolonged anxiety.

Up to 5% of the Finnish population suffers from , but little is known about the cellular, molecular and neural mechanisms that cause and maintain them.

A newly-launched multidisciplinary project at the University of Helsinki studies the role kainate receptors play in susceptibility to anxiety. Located on the surface of certain nerve cells, kainate receptors regulate cell-to-cell communication and the brain's processing power.

Genetic factors revealed

The researchers want to determine whether certain hereditary forms of kainate receptors increase to anxiety disorders. Another goal is to investigate whether anxiety could be treated by regulating the function of the kainate system.

"A long-term goal is to develop sorely-needed precision drugs for anxiety disorders," explains Project Coordinator Iiris Hovatta from the Department of Biosciences at the University of Helsinki.

Cooperation across disciplines

The research uses methods from genetics, electrophysiology and brain imaging. This enables researchers to combine molecular-level information from the brain with imaging data on the interaction between different brain areas.


Explore further

A new role for sodium in the brain

Citation: Precision drugs sought for anxiety disorders (2014, March 26) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-03-precision-drugs-sought-anxiety-disorders.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more