Navigation Links
$1.8 Million Grant to Support Research on Impact of Social Stress

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) August 01, 2013

Dr. Kim Huhman, a researcher in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) at Georgia State University, has received a federal five-year, $1.8 million grant for research that may lead to improved strategies for treating and preventing mental health problems associated with exposure to social stress.

The grant from the National Institute of Mental Health will aid Huhman’s study of how exposure to social stress causes changes in brain and behavior. Most humans experience social stress as the result of exposure to bullying, abuse or conflict in school, home and the workplace.

“These social stressors have been shown to cause or contribute to a wide variety of illnesses, including heart disease, depression and anxiety disorders,” said Huhman, who, in addition to her role as a CBN researcher, is a professor in Georgia State’s Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology. “The current treatment strategies for stress-related illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders are inadequate for a significant number of patients. We hope to improve these outcomes significantly.”

To study how social stress leads to changes in the brain and behavior, Huhman developed an animal model of social stress in hamsters. After being defeated even a single time by a larger, more aggressive opponent, hamsters exhibit pronounced social avoidance even when interacting with much smaller, non-aggressive individuals. The Huhman lab calls this pronounced change in behavior “conditioned defeat.”

Conditioned defeat occurs even though hamsters are not injured during the initial defeat. The social stress is relatively mild and mainly psychological. Defeated hamsters (as well as rats and mice) also show anxiety- and depression-like changes in behavior such as alterations in feeding, sleep and startle responses, and decreases in interest in previously preferred stimuli. By studying how social stress causes conditioned defeat, Huhman aims to improve understanding of how, from a neurobiological standpoint, psychological stress has deleterious effects on physical and psychological health.

Conditioned defeat offers a unique opportunity to explore how multiple brain circuits that mediate fear/anxiety, emotional learning, social behavior and motivation interact to control complex social behavior and to “shift” or “switch” individuals among stable behavioral states. The nature of such switches and how they can have such a dramatic impact on future behavior is a fundamental unanswered question in behavioral neuroscience.

According to Huhman, “because these brain circuits are largely the same in rodents and humans, the data generated by this project will have important implications for the potential therapeutic usefulness of drugs, currently in the testing phase, to alter behavioral responses to social stress.”

An abstract of the grant is available on the NIH’s Project RePORTER website,

For more information about Dr. Huhman and the research being conducted in her laboratory, visit

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
2. Scientist awarded $1 million grant to develop tools for hepatitis C treatment discovery
3. David H. Koch donates $10 million to Mount Sinais Jaffe Food Allergy Institute
4. $9 million grant awarded to UH to study, treat learning disabilities
5. New report shows 15 million babies born too soon every year
6. Southeast program to fight diabetes awarded nearly $10 million by HHS
7. OHSU study: Misdiagnosis of MS is costing health system millions per year
8. Enzyme corrects more than 1 million faults in DNA replication
9. 53 million Americans might have diabetes by 2025, according to a new study in Population Health Management
10. Asthma Cases Continue to Rise in U.S., Affecting Millions
11. UC San Diego Superfund Research Program receives $15 million grant renewal
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the ... 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of ... 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment you stop ... not only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going above and ... providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is why ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the largest, most successful and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They ... involvement with various organizations, and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the ... a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD ... for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians ... directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda ... magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel ... ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att ... forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... --> --> ... analysis of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... (BLA) with the United States ... a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen ... submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA ... E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president of Research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: