An ‘anger pill’ that could even calm down ‘The Incredible Hulk’ may be on the horizon after scientists identified the rage centre of the brain.
Violent outbursts like those depicted by the movie superhero happen when neurons that control anxiety break down.
The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to treat people who struggle to keep a lid on their temper, replacing anger management classes.
Experiments on male mice found chemical changes in the lateral septum (LS) which lies in the middle of the brain made them attack peers without warning.
The finding may lead to better understanding of aggression in other animals, including humans.
Damage or lost function in the LS led to a cascade of activity in other brain regions, altering the animals’ behaviour.
In the new study researchers used optogenetics, a technique that uses light to control neural activity, to artificially activate a set of specific, genetically identified neurons in the LS of mice.
During this activation they could start, stop and re-start aggressive outbursts, reports Current Biology.
SOURCE: MARK WAGHORN