About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

New Mechanism Decoded to Help Quit Unwanted Thoughts

by Bidita Debnath on November 4, 2017 at 11:45 PM
 New Mechanism Decoded to Help Quit Unwanted Thoughts

Unwanted thoughts are an extremely common symptom of anxiety disorders. Anxiety is the type of mental health disorder that specifically causes negative thinking, and the inability to control the thoughts that come into your head. For some people, anxiety itself can be caused by these thoughts.

Scientists have identified a key chemical within the "memory" region of the brain that allows us to suppress unwanted thoughts. The findings showed that the ability to inhibit unwanted thoughts relies on a neurotransmitter -- a chemical within the brain that allows messages to pass between nerve cells -- known as GABA.


GABA is the main "inhibitory" neurotransmitter in the brain, and its release by one nerve cell can suppress activity in other cells to which it is connected.

GABA concentrations within the hippocampus -- brain area involved in memory -- predict people's ability to block the retrieval process and prevent thoughts and memories from returning.

The results may explain why people suffering from disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia often experience persistent intrusive thoughts, the researchers said.

"Our ability to control our thoughts is fundamental to our well-being," said Michael Anderson, Professor at the University of Cambridge.

"When this capacity breaks down, it causes some of the most debilitating symptoms of psychiatric diseases: intrusive memories, images, hallucinations, ruminations, and pathological and persistent worries -- key symptoms of mental illnesses such as PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety," Anderson added.

In the research, published in the journal Nature Communications, the team used a task known as the "Think/No-Think", where participants learned to associate a series of words with a paired, but otherwise unconnected, word, for example ordeal/roach and moss/north. They were later asked to recall the associated word.

As the participants tried to inhibit their thoughts, the researchers observed that even within this sample of healthy young adults, people with less hippocampal GABA were less able to suppress hippocampal activity and as a result much worse at inhibiting unwanted thoughts.

The discovery could offer a new approach to tackling intrusive thoughts in mental disorders.

"Our study suggests that if you could improve GABA activity within the hippocampus, this may help people to stop unwanted and intrusive thoughts,"Anderson said.

Source: IANS
Font : A-A+



Latest Research News

Brain Circuits That Shape Bedtime Rituals in Mice
New study sheds light on the intrinsic, yet often overlooked, role of sleep preparation as a hardwired survival strategy.
NELL-1 Protein Aids to Reduce Bone Loss in Astronauts
Microgravity-induced bone loss in space, can be reduced by systemic delivery of NELL-1, a protein required for bone growth and its maintenance.
Connecting Genetic Variants to the Alzheimer's Puzzle
Researchers establish connections between Alzheimer's-linked genetic alterations and the functioning of brain cells.
Gene Therapy Sparks Spinal Cord Regeneration
Team at NeuroRestore introduces a groundbreaking gene therapy that has effectively promoted nerve regrowth and reconnection, post spinal cord injury.
Unlocking the Gut Microbiome's Influence on Bone Density
Scientists aim to pinpoint particular functional pathways affected by these bacteria that may have an impact on skeletal health.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot

New Mechanism Decoded to Help Quit Unwanted Thoughts Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests