New study from Prof. Carmen Sandi on the link between trait anxiety and stress response

Our co-president Prof. Carmen Sandi recently published a new study linking trait anxiety, CRHR1 system and stress response. Previous studies on motivation after exposure to stress have observed contradictory results, showing either decreased or increased motivation. Carmen Sandi and her group tried to determine if these contradictory results may be due to variations in the individuals’ personality traits, such as anxiety, which has proved to be a key moderator in the effects of acute stress on learning and social behavior. They demonstrated that the motivation to exert sustained effort to obtain goals after stress exposure depends on the individuals' level of trait anxiety. Moreover, they identified the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1) in the ventral tegmental area, a brain region involved in regulating motivation, as part of the underlying mechanism of the behavioral differences. These results help explain the individual differences in susceptibilities to stress and could provide better patient stratification for developing more personalized treatments against depression.

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