Thursday March 21, 2019

Anxiety and depression genetic, says research

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New York: Anxious parents are more likely to have anxious children, a study on rhesus monkeys has revealed. It added that the risk of developing anxiety and depression is passed from parents to children.

An over-active brain circuit involving three brain areas inherited from generation to generation may set the stage for developing anxiety and depressive disorders, said the researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Over-activity of these three brain regions are inherited brain alterations that are directly linked to the later life risk to develop anxiety and depression,” said senior study author Ned Kalin.

The findings showed that elevated activity in the brain areas is likely involved in mediating the in-born risk for extreme anxiety and anxious temperament that can be observed in early childhood.

Monkeys, like humans, can be temperamentally anxious and pass their anxiety-related genes on to the next generation.

By studying nearly 600 young rhesus monkeys, the team found that about 35 percent of variation in anxiety-like tendencies is explained by family history.

To a certain extent, anxiety can provide an evolutionary advantage because it helps an individual recognise and avoid danger.

“But when the circuits are over-active, it becomes a problem and can result in anxiety and depressive disorders,” Kalin explained.

Surprisingly, the study found that it was the function of brain structures – and not their size – that was responsible for the genetic transfer of an anxious temperament.

“Now that we know where to look, we can develop a better understanding of the molecular alterations that give rise to anxiety-related brain function,” Kalin noted.

The findings are a big step in understanding the neural underpinnings of inherited anxiety and begins to give scientists more selective targets for treatment.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

(IANS)

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Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cancer in India and eighth most globally. It affects more men than women.

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Scalding water irritates the lining of the mouth and throat which can fuel tumours, scientists believe. Pixabay

Love to drink your tea piping hot? Beware, it could raise the risk of esophageal cancer, finds a study.

The study showed that risk of esophageal cancer more than doubled among those who regularly drank tea at 75 degrees Celsius

However, waiting for at least four minutes before drinking a cup of freshly boiled tea can reduce the risk of the cancer arising from the oesophagus — the food pipe that runs between the throat and the stomach.

“Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking,” said lead author Farhad Islami of the American Cancer Society.

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The study showed that risk of esophageal cancer more than doubled among those who regularly drank tea at 75 degrees Celsius. Pixabay

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, involved 50,045 individuals aged 40 to 75 years.

Drinking 700 ml per day of tea or more at a higher temperature (60 degrees Celsius or higher) was associated with a 90 per cent higher risk of esophageal cancer, the researchers said.

The results could also be extended to coffee, hot chocolate or other hot beverages.

Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cancer in India and eighth most globally. It affects more men than women.

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The results could also be extended to coffee, hot chocolate or other hot beverages. pixabay

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In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned of the cancer risk associated with drinks above 65 degrees Celsius.

Scalding water irritates the lining of the mouth and throat which can fuel tumours, scientists believe. (IANS)