[photo courtesy James Jordan]
The brain is a complicated muscle, but one we’re learning more about all the time. Most people aren’t adversely affected by the changes in the weather as summer draws to a close, whilst some feel moody, drained and depressed with the arrival of cold winds and gray skies.
In the news recently the results of research was announced that identified a biological reason why two million people in the UK suffer from seasonal affective disorder.
Scientists from the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, conducted brain scans of 88 adults. They discovered that those who experienced low moods and depression in winter had a higher level of a specific protein than those who were unaffected by seasonal changes.
It’s believed that the identified protein soaks up serotonin (feel good chemical) in the brain, causing an adverse effect on people’s mood. It’s long been known that depression is accompanied by low serotonin levels, so the research further emphasises how important a healthy mind and body are for your sense of well being.
With anxiety being such a complicated and deep rooted issue I’d suggest that other factors are probably at play along with the higher levels of a certain protein. However, the fact that scientists are now able to identify some of the biological reasons why the brain behaves in a certain way emphasises the strides being made in understanding anxiety in all its forms.