Very promising news could be on the horizon for 7 million Americans who suffer from the crippling emotions of fear and anxiety. According to a new study conducted by McLean Hospital, an affiliate of the Harvard Medical School, has revealed that these emotions can be traced to the release of a protein called TRPC5 into the brain.
The protein, which exists throughout the brain, can be found in high concentrations in the amygdala, an area of the brain that controls our emotions.
Researchers studied the neurons in the amygdala of mice that did not have the TRPC5 protein and learned that they didn't exhibit any fear-related behaviors when they encountered situations that would normally cause anxiety, such as exploring new places or encountering new mice. As a result, researchers believe that the TRPC5 protein plays a key role in innate fear.
The research could help develop medications that could help turn off the fear "trigger" inside of the brain by blocking the protein or its pathways throughout the brain.
To learn more about anxiety and mental health issues, check out the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health's Web site at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/.