Thursday, May 25, 2006
Stressing out or Chilling out changes how our genes are expressed in an immediate and dynamic way.
Bittman et al., in "Recreational music-making modulates the stress response and alters individual gene expression," have followed the expression of 45 genes associated with stress, immune, and inflammation responses after one hour of a stress induction protocol (solving a 500 piece puzzle while being told at 10 minute intervals that other subjects were doing better). Subjects were then split into three groups for a further hour: one continued the stressful situation, the second read a newspaper, and the third participated in a recreational music making session (the clavinova connection). In the latter group 19 genes expression changes caused by stress were significantly reversed. None were reversed in the group continuing the stress test and 6 reversed in the group just reading a newspaper.