There is no denying the fact that stress and anxiety can greatly affect one’s behavior and quality of life. Researchers have conducted various studies on these mental health conditions and as per a recent one conducted at the University of Utah, it has been deduced that our genes can affect the stress and anxiety levels.
In this study, the Lef1 gene was studied and its effects on stress and anxiety levels. This gene is responsible for triggering various numerous sensations such as hunger and thirst. It also influences emotional activity in humans and their body temperature. In order to study the effect of this gene on the mental health conditions stated above, few experiments on conducted on some animals.
The Lef1 gene was removed from zebrafish to study these effects. They tend to get immobile if they are affected by anxiety. After this experiment was conducted on them, the results showed that some nerve cells were not present in their brain. The removal of this gene also resulted in the change of behavior displayed by the zebrafish. It was placed in a new tank after the experiment was performed but it didn’t explore its new home as it tends to do under normal circumstances. It rather remained at the bottom of the tank without showing any movement.
For more authentic results, another experiment was conducted on mice. In this experiment, the Lef1 gene was removed from a part of the brain and the result was the same. they showed a change in behavior as they were also hesitant to explore their surroundings. The researches, based on these experiments, concluded that many other animals may also show the same result if this particular gene is knocked out from their brain. Furthermore, it was also deduced that anxiety can be regulated by Lef1 gene with the help of two never cell signals.
Researchers, prior to conducting this result, had no information on whether this particular gene can affect one’s behavior or mental condition. However, as of now, more studies are underway related to these mental health conditions by the researchers. They are also contemplating on studying mood disorders found in human beings in the future as they are of the view that Lef1 mutation can also affect them.