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“Safety Signals” May Act As Effective Anxiety Relievers

Almost one-third of people have been suffering from anxiety and stress-related conditions raised by the fear that poses no threat. Half of the anxious population overcomes such conditions through antidepressants’ consumption and cognitive behavioral therapy. However, still millions of remaining don’t find effective treatment options.

“Safety Signals” May Act As Effective Anxiety Relievers

Scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine and Yale University have discovered a novel approach to help combat such anxiety. They stated that when life triggers unnecessary fear, power on a safety signal.

According to the researchers, a sound or an image that is not linked to any adverse events can alleviate anxiety through the activation of an entirely different neural network inside the brain. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The team conducted a trial in which subjects had to view shapes with and without threatening outcomes. Initially, the subjects were conditioned to view threat-related shapes, and later both threatening & non-threatening shapes were placed in front of the subjects. The findings indicated that the non-threatening shapes suppressed the fear generated by shapes with some threatening results.

On a related note, prior to the recent study, everyone has been considering that increased consumption of fish oil (omega-3 fats) alleviates anxiety and depression-like conditions. However, a recent publication in the British Journal of Psychiatry proves that omega-3 supplements are not beneficial for people suffering from depression.

Omega-3 fat, a type of fat, is an important ingredient and is required in small amounts for maintaining good health. Besides marine animals, particularly salmon fish, the fat is present in nuts and seeds as well.

The research team observed 31 trials based on anxiety or depression. Over 41,470 candidates were randomly chosen and permitted to consume more omega-3 fats (fish oils), or uphold their normal consumption, for at least six months.

The team concluded that oil supplements had a negligible effect on combating anxiety or depression symptoms.

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