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Stress is linked to changes in physical and mental health, including increased susceptibility to various diseases. Routine exposure to stress can contribute to long-term negative effects, including chronic stress disorders.
To better understand how stress disorders affect human health, SRI researchers conduct stress studies that explore stress and nicotine dependence, altered stress responses to medical treatments, and the impact of stress and environmental factors such as toxins, and oxidative stress on neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson's disease.
SRI's stress research also focus on the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain and stress responses, as well as stress-induced analgesia (SIA). SRI researchers recently found that the body's ability to temporarily isolate SIA-related pain is due to the direct interaction between two neuropeptide systems. These findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Researchers are seeking to identify novel genes contributing to nicotine metabolism and to smoking cessation.
SRI is investigating novel methods and treatments to improve cognitive deficits caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.
This project could advance drug abuse prevention and intervention research by identifying Genetic x Environment (GxE) interactions, which may help explain the development of nicotine dependence. Results may guide development of tailored interventions.