Scientists pinpoint brain receptor linked with rageJune 20th, 2012 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, June 20 (IANS) Scientists have identified a brain receptor, an enzyme monoamine oxidase A, whose malfunctioning can trigger sudden violence, explosive outbursts and hostile overraction to stress in mice.
By blocking the receptor, which also exists in humans, scientists stripped the mice of their extreme aggressiveness, potentially paving the way to new treatment for severely aggressive behaviour.
The findings by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) and Italy are a significant breakthrough in developing drug targets for pathological aggression, a component in many common psychological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, the Journal of Neuroscience reports.
“From a clinical and social point of view, reactive aggression is absolutely a major problem,” said Marco Bortolato, research assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, who led the study. “We want to find the tools that might reduce impulsive violence,” said Bortolato, according to an USC statement.
A large body of independent research, including past work by Bortolato and his colleague and senior study author Jean Shih, has identified low levels of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAO A). Both male humans and mice with congenital deficiency of the enzyme respond violently in response to stress.
- Lack of enzyme creates skewed response to fear - Aug 12, 2011
- There's a gene behind male moroseness - Aug 29, 2012
- 40-year-old antidepressant shows promise in treating heart failure - Jan 08, 2010
- Chronic inhalation of polluted air 'can lead to inflammation, heart risk' - Apr 17, 2011
- Enzyme behind baby blues found - Jun 17, 2010
- 'Despair' gene linked to bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia - Nov 14, 2009
- Old anti-depressant can reverse cardiac complications - Jan 08, 2010
- Why fake medicines work as effectively for some people as real ones - Jul 21, 2009
- How marijuana affects the way the brain processes emotional info - Apr 06, 2011
- Genetic deletion identified as major risk factor for autism, schizophrenia - Nov 05, 2010
- Serotonin may play role in autism - Feb 25, 2011
- TB drug could improve social skills in autistic people - Dec 09, 2010
- Rolled out cigarettes more addictive, shows study - Jan 13, 2011
- Gene linked to severity of autism's social dysfunction identified - Apr 07, 2011
- Maternal smoking may increase distress levels of newborns - Oct 22, 2009
Tags: aggression, aggressive behaviour, aggressiveness, common psychological disorders, congenital deficiency, drug targets, explosive outbursts, impulsive violence, independent research, male humans, monoamine oxidase, paving the way, pharmaceutical sciences, research assistant professor, school of pharmacy, southern california usc, study author, sudden violence, university of southern california, usc school of pharmacy