Tuesday, February 14, 2006

New Way to See Effects of Psychological Stress

Researchers have found a non-invasive way to see the effects of psychological stress in an area of the brain that is linked to anxiety and depression. These findings have important implications for how doctors treat the numerous long term health consequences of chronic stress.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), researchers can detect increased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex of those subjected to stress. Also, the increased flow continued when the stressor was removed. This suggests the effects of stress are more persistent than once thought. This research will help pave the way to develop new strategies to help prevent or possibly correct the long term health consequences of chronic stress.

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