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Stress and nerve cells survival in rats; finding may open window for depression treatment

them to die early on. But a week after the encounter, the team found that only a third of the cells generated under stress had survived. Long-term survival of nerve cells was also compromised: When Peterson's team marked newborn cells in the hippocampus, subjected rats to stress a week later, then examined brain tissue at the end of a month, they counted a third fewer fully developed nerve cells.

"The next step is to understand how stress reduced this survival," says Peterson. "We want to determine if anti-depressant medications might be able to keep these vulnerable new neurons alive."


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Contact: Sara Harris
sharris@sfn.org
202-962-4000
Society for Neuroscience
13-Mar-2007


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