Seasonal depression may affect hamsters

Nov 16, 2005

An Ohio State University study suggests hamsters may suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression during the dark days of winter, just as some humans.

OSU researchers found more symptoms of depression and anxiety in adult hamsters that were housed for weeks in conditions with limited daylight, as they would find in winter, when compared with hamsters who had days with longer daylight.

The research also examined whether hamsters that developed prenatally, and then were born during short days, were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety as adults. The results for those tests suggest hamsters born in winter-like light conditions had increased depressive symptoms as adults.

Overall, the scientists said their research suggests the season during which the hamsters were born, their sex, and the changing of the seasons all might play a role in levels of depression and anxiety.

"These results in hamsters may provide some insight into the development of seasonal affective disorders in humans," said Randy Nelson, psychology professor and co-author of the study with Leah Pyter, an OSU doctoral student in neuroscience.

They presented their results Tuesday in Washington, D.C. during the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Self-made billionaires more likely to give than inheritors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Self-made billionaires more likely to give than inheritors

51 minutes ago

A study by economists at the University of Southampton suggests that billionaires who have built their own fortunes are more likely to pledge to donate a large portion of their wealth to charities, than those who are heirs ...

Research band at Karolinska tuck Dylan gems into papers

13 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A 17-year old bet among scientists at the Karolinska Institute has been a wager that whoever wrote the most articles with Dylan quotes before they retired would get a free lunch. Results included ...

Adding uncertainty to improve mathematical models

14 hours ago

Mathematicians from Brown University have introduced a new element of uncertainty into an equation used to describe the behavior of fluid flows. While being as certain as possible is generally the stock and ...

At the interface of math and science

14 hours ago

In popular culture, mathematics is often deemed inaccessible or esoteric. Yet in the modern world, it plays an ever more important role in our daily lives and a decisive role in the discovery and development ...

User comments : 0