The Newsroom    Published Friday, Feb. 10, 2006, 2:43 PM
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Of bullied mice & men

Newsday (Internet / Print) 02/10/06 http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ny-hsmice104620874feb10,0,3761883.story?coll=ny-health-print Mice bullied for 10 days by aggressive, bigger lab mates display lasting fearfulness, but scientists report that by blocking a gene in their brains, they could undo the animals' social intimidation. What this means for human social behavior is only speculative, but psychiatrists who did the experiment say they have discovered a change in a region in the center of the brain called the ventral tegmental area that explains the socially defeated response to aggression. "Once again, this study demonstrates the destructive effect of early trauma," said Dr. Robert Hirschfeld, chairman of psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. "The good news is we may be able to reverse this in mice and hopefully in humans."



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