Researchers studying mice are getting closer to understanding how stress affects mood and motivation for drugs.
According to the researchers, blocking the stress cascade in brain cells may help reduce the effects of stress, which can include anxiety, depression and the pursuit of addictive drugs.
A research team from St. Louis and Seattle reports in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Neuron that in mice exposed to stress, a protein called p38? mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) influences the animals behavior, contributing to depression-like symptoms and risk for addiction.
The first author is Michael R. Bruchas, PhD, assistant…