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: US company sells out of Ebola toys

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars

21 minutes ago

A comet the size of a small mountain whizzed past Mars on Sunday, dazzling space enthusiasts with the once-in-a-million-years encounter.

Major breakthrough could help detoxify pollutants

5 hours ago

Scientists at The University of Manchester hope a major breakthrough could lead to more effective methods for detoxifying dangerous pollutants like PCBs and dioxins. The result is a culmination of 15 years of research and ...

Recommended for you

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

New progress of the Neogene Suidae research

Oct 17, 2014

Dr. Hou Sukuan and Prof. Deng Tao from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology(IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences reported a new species of Chleuastochoerus from the Linxia Basin, Gansu ...

Gypsies and travellers on the English Green Belt

Oct 17, 2014

The battle between Gypsies, Travellers and the settled community over how land can be used has moved to the Green Belt, observes Peter Kabachnik of the City University of New York.

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy

Oct 16, 2014

Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research that has implications ...

User comments : 0