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How Nervous Rex Overcame Depression
In a breakthrough discovery, scientists at Aberdeen University in Scotland have discovered dinosaur DNA that was responsible for controlling fear and anxiety that exists in humans too. The scientists discovered genetic switches in humans that are capable of turning on and off genes that control our mood and behavior. The switches, or enhancers, that exist in us today were present in dinosaurs millions of years ago and served to protect them from predators. In today’s modern world though, having the fear and anxiety switch permanently on only serves to create depression and anxiety in our lives.
The switches that control our behavior and mood are set in the amygdala, which is a primitive part of the brain responsible for our emotional reactions to stimuli, especially fear and panic. Now that researchers know where the depression trigger switches are, they can begin working with depressed patients and examining their DNA to look for common changes. This could lead to depression treatments that respond to the root of the illness and not just its symptoms.
What do you think? Is depression really just an evolutionary glitch? [The Scotsman]