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: Richard III's makeshift grave opens to public

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

10 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

12 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

12 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Recommended for you

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

Jul 25, 2014

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

Narcissistic CEOs and financial performance

Jul 24, 2014

Narcissism, considered by some as the "dark side of the executive personality," may actually be a good thing when it comes to certain financial measures, with companies led by narcissistic CEOs outperforming those helmed ...

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

Jul 24, 2014

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

User comments : 0