Mind Affects Matter – Brainstem Circuits Linking Stress, Physiology, and Behaviour

External Event - 17th Nov 2020

Online event

Time - 15:00 – 16:00 GMT

Mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, are increasingly prevalent and often occur in combination with cardiovascular disease and eating pathologies. Stress is at the heart of these disorders: even mild chronic stress has deleterious effects on appetite and cardiovascular function, and severely exacerbates anxiety and depression.

In the short term, stress elicits a range of adaptive behaviours and physiological responses: decreased food intake, increased vigilance, and elevated heart rate and blood pressure. These short-term responses to acute stress are essential to the survival of the organism, but the same responses can become maladaptive when stress is chronic and unrelenting.

Marie Holt has undertaken research which has revealed the importance of a group of neurons, in the caudal brainstem, that drive stress-induced changes in physiology and behaviour: GLP-1-expressing neurons. In this webinar, Marie will outline her studies of GLP-1-expressing neurons in mice, including their crucial role in appetite modulation, cardiovascular responses, and general arousal in response to stressful stimuli. With these fundamental neuroscience studies, Marie hopes to uncover novel targets for the treatment of stress-related disorders, including obesity and cardiovascular disease.

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