New therapy to control severe aggression shows promise
20 June 2012 16:31 in Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs
Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have developed a new means of addressing the biological causes of severe aggression.
The team conducted a study to assess the effect of manipulating a brain receptor known as NMDA, which is known to malfunction among pathologically aggressive people.
It was found that by shutting this receptor down, rodent test subjects no longer suffered from the same level of aggression.
This could be a momentous finding, as severe aggression is characterised by symptoms such as sudden violence, explosive outbursts and hostile overreactions to stress, as well as acting as a component of disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, autism and schizophrenia.
Marco Bortolato, research assistant professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at the USC School of Pharmacy, said: "Our challenge now is to understand what pharmacological tools and what therapeutic regimens should be administered to stabilise the deficits of this receptor. If we can manage that, this could truly be an important finding."
According to the NHS, intense and uncontrolled anger can bring about symptoms such as high blood pressure, headaches, back pain, insomnia and skin complaints.
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