Scientists Find New Anxiety Circuit in the Brain

When researchers study anxiety, they tend to focus on the brain’s amygdala, an area known to play a role in fear. However, a new study suggests that a different brain area, the lateral septum (LS), also directly influences anxiety. The researchers reported the most surprising part of these findings is that the outputs from the LS, which were believed primarily to act as a brake on anxiety, actually increase anxiety. According to David Anderson, a biology professor at Caltech and author of the study, part of the reason we lack more effective and specific drugs for anxiety is that we don’t know enough about how the brain processes it.

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