Fear is the Mind Killer: Stress and Depression Shrinks the Brain

Picture: Anonymous (PD)

Via e! Science News:

The low-grade existential despair inflicted by your day-to-day cubicle farm existence may actually be making you dumber: A team of Yale scientists have discovered that stress and depression can actually cause your brain to atrophy.

The research team analyzed tissue of depressed and non-depressed patients donated from a brain bank and looked for different patterns of gene activation. The brains of patients who had been depressed exhibited lower levels of expression in genes that are required for the function and structure of brain synapses. Lead author and postdoctoral researcher H.J. Kang discovered that at least five of these genes could be regulated by a single transcription factor called GATA1. When the transcription factor was activated, rodents exhibited depressive-like symptoms, suggesting GATA1 plays a role not only in the loss of connections between neurons but also in symptoms of depression.

Maybe the makers of Joe vs. The Volcano were on to something:

Continue reading at e! Science news.

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13 Comments on "Fear is the Mind Killer: Stress and Depression Shrinks the Brain"

  1. ManOnTheBorder | Aug 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    Damn, this article made me really nervous!

    • Simiantongue | Aug 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

       and depressed.

    • TruthVybes | Aug 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm |

      Truly… though this article also has lots of holes that need to be filled. Thinking about death seems to be the most optimistic thing to do these days with all the bad news :. All the negativity comes down to the human body.. like the human body is a machine used to enslave the mind/soul and to think of it like that is horrible. Maybe we’re told to fear death so that we can conform to the suffering and not set free? The mind does seem to have omnipresent qualities during hightened states but that’s usually impossible in the world we live in now with all the noise pollution and stress. Horrible.

    • TruthVybes | Aug 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm |

      Truly… though this article also has lots of holes that need to be filled. Thinking about death seems to be the most optimistic thing to do these days with all the bad news :. All the negativity comes down to the human body.. like the human body is a machine used to enslave the mind/soul and to think of it like that is horrible. Maybe we’re told to fear death so that we can conform to the suffering and not set free? The mind does seem to have omnipresent qualities during hightened states but that’s usually impossible in the world we live in now with all the noise pollution and stress. Horrible.

      • TruthVybes | Aug 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm |

         And to think that people could live in peace and not depend on the medical industries? Horrible horrible sinful beings we are… how dare we tsk tsk tsk

      • TruthVybes | Aug 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm |

         And to think that people could live in peace and not depend on the medical industries? Horrible horrible sinful beings we are… how dare we tsk tsk tsk

      • Missenclave | Aug 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm |

        Flouride calcifies our pineal glad, which is responsible for “higher awareness” (spirituality). Not to mention it is responsible for numerous other health issues.

        • Missenclave | Aug 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm |

          Oh, and go get some sunshine on that noggin!

          Have a wonderful day everyone. Don’t forget to smile 😀 

  2. Apathesis | Aug 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

    Fear, stress, and depression.  Yup, that’s my life.

  3. TruthVybes | Aug 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm |

    I find that depression has actually allowed me to face aspects of my subconscious mind where I wouldn’t tread were i living in comfort. Not entirely disagreeing with the article but it almost seems like there’s an agenda against those who aren’t overtly happy/optimistic. Maybe depression is nature’s way of telling us that something truly is wrong in the world and it’s time to face the problems lest we suffer. I think the question should be about the different parts of the brain that define ‘intelligence’, such as right-brained vs left-brained activity which has not much to do with brain cell activity. ‘legal’ pharmaceuticals and drugs like alcohol are the brain cell destroyers, and, ironically, those who are depressed are prone to using these substances when they can be increasing right-brained activity with nature’s banned herbs instead. 

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