News Stories

Hamsters Get SAD Too

Newswise - SAD, seasonal affective disorder, is depression that somepeople feel as the days get shorter and darker. A new studysuggests that hamsters may suffer from symptoms of anxietyand depression during the dark days of winter, just as somehumans do. If this is the case, we can try to mitigate thiscondition in hamsters, so we can cheer up SAD people as well.

Researchers found more symptoms of depression and anxiety inhamsters that were housed for weeks in conditions withlimited daylight, as they would be in winter, when comparedto hamsters who had days with longer daylight.

The results suggest that the season the hamsters were bornin, their sex, and the changing of the seasons all may playa role in levels of depression and anxiety. Is this the samefor human beings?

"These results in hamsters may provide some insight into thedevelopment of seasonal affective disorders in humans," saysresearcher Randy Nelson. "Our results do suggest arelationship between season and symptoms of depression andanxiety."

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

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