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:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter ... bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set ... , Research from reveals that behind the tendency to set low ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic ... many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping ... released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, ... Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the ... Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they ... to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides ... life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 ... the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was ... Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member ... independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: