City dwellers suffer more stress than country folk

London: A new study has discovered that being born and raised in an urban area exposes an individual to a lifetime risk of anxiety and mood disorders.

It has surfaced that two distinct brain regions that regulate emotion and stress are affected by city living.

“Previous findings have shown that the risk for anxiety disorders is 21 pc higher for people from the city, who also have a 39 pc increase for mood disorders,” said Jens Pruessner, a Douglas researcher.

“In addition, the incidence for schizophrenia is almost doubled for individuals who are born and brought up in cities. These values are a cause for concern and determining the biology behind this is the first step to remedy the trend,” he added.

The study was supported with an experiment, which involved the ``Montreal Imaging Stress Task`` (MIST) protocol of the brain activity of healthy volunteers from urban and rural areas.

The test showed that city living was associated with greater stress responses in the amygdala, an area of the brain involved with emotional regulation and mood.

“These findings suggest that different brain regions are sensitive to the experience of city living during different times across the lifespan," Pruessner explained.

The study has been published in the journal Nature.


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