New research out of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that it’s actually our biology that determines how we respond to stressful situations.
Scientists identified a receptor on the surface of the brain called sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 3 (or S1PR3) and studied its role in the neural signalling of rats and US combat veterans.
They found that when put in challenging situations, rats with lower levels of the S1Pr3 protein displayed less resilience and responded with higher levels of stress and anxiety, in comparison to those with more of it.
The scientists also measured the S1PR3 levels of former soldiers at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Philadelphia. They established that those who were diagnosed with PTSD had lower levels than those who weren’t.
“We have found that a specific cell receptor promotes resilience to the adverse effects of stress in animals,” said study leader Seema Bhatnagar. “Because we found links to the same receptor in patients with PTSD, we may have insights into developing more effective treatments for human psychiatric disorders.”
While more research is needed on the matter, scientists believe these findings may lead to advances in how we treat stress and stress disorders in the future.