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Lavender scent reduces anxiety through odor receptors

Traditional medicine has long used aromatic herbal compounds like lavender extracts as anxiety treatments, but how these compounds can function…

Traditional medicine has long used aromatic herbal compounds like lavender extracts as anxiety treatments, but how these compounds can function at neuron levels are not understood fully. A team of researchers in Japan has now shown that the smell of aromatic lavender-derived alcohol, linalool, exerts anxiolytic effects in mice by acting on the same gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptors (GABA A Rs) on the anxiolytic drug benzodiazepam. While diazepam in the bloodstream acts directly on GABA A receptors, the Kagoshima University team found that linalools functioned through the animal’s olfactory system &#821

1; its relaxing effects were not evident to mice that could not be smelled.

The researchers, led by Hideki Kashiwadani, Ph.D., suggest that while further studies will be needed to more accurately evaluate the goals, effects and potential side effects of linalool, the new results show that the compound may be used to reduce patient anxiety in clinical settings. “These results, however, lead us to clinical use of linalool to relieve anxiety – in surgery, for example, where pretreatment with anxiolytics can relieve preoperative stress, thus helping to place patients under general anesthesia smoother,” Dr. Kashiwadani. “Vaporized linalool can also provide a safe alternative for patients who have difficulty with oral or suppository administration of anxiolytics, such as infants or confused elders.”

The findings of the team are reported in the limits of Behavioral Neuroscience In a paper titled “Linalool-smell-induced anxiolytic activity in mice”.

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common types of mental illness, the authors write. First drug treatments include azapirones and serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that act on serotonergic synaptic transmission, along with benzodiazepines acting via GABAergic transmission. But the notes may be the side effects of these drugs worse than the anxiety themselves.

Plant-based aromatic compounds, including lavender extract, have been used in folk medicine to treat anxiety for many years. “The neuron mechanisms that lie behind the reported anxiolytic effects of the elucidal compounds have not yet been completely revealed,” the team said. “Previously, several studies have investigated that linaloolinhalation-induced anxiolytic effect. However, since the contribution of the olfactory system was not directly investigated, the nature of how linalool can induce the effects can not be disclosed. “

The researchers now report studies that involved performing classical tests for anxiety on male mice immediately after the animals were exposed to linalolånga. Results of light / dark box test and elevated plus maze tests suggested that linalool respiratory exposure gave dose-related anxiolytic effects as in some cases were comparable to those produced by diazepam treatment. In contrast to benzodiazepam or linalool injections, linalol odor exposure did not cause motor impairment, and the test results suggested that the effects of linalol odor were anxiolytic, rather than sedative.

Significantly practiced linalolånga only the effects of mice that could have a sense of smell. Exposure to linaloma had no anxiolytic effects in anosmic mice. These animals had been pretreated with a compound that destroyed their olfactory receptors. Similarly, animals pretreated with a compound of flumazenil, which blocks the benzodiazepine site on GABA A Rs, not on the linal wound, “indicating that GABAergic transmission via benzodiazepine responsive GABAAR was crucial to the anxiolytic effects, the authors said. “When combined, these results suggest that linalool does not work directly on GABA A receptors that benzodiazepines do – but must activate them via nephrotic olfactory neurons to produce relaxing effects,” said Dr. Kashiwadani notes.

Interestingly, previous studies have shown that other smells including (+) limonene – found in citrus fruit shells – also have anxiolytic effects on inhalation. In the case of (+) limone, pretreatment with flumazenil does not block its relaxing effects. “Together with our results, it is possible that there may be at least two parallel anxiolytic pathways involving benzodiazepine responsive GABA A Rs dependent and independent systems induced by olfactory input.”

Previous research had found that administration of linalool systemically via intraperitoneal injection also induced anxiolytic effects, leading to the assumption that inhaled linalol acts via glutamatergic neurotransmission after it penetrates into the bloodstream via airway absorption. However, Dr. Kashiwadani, “our study opens the possibility the relaxation seen in mice fed or injected with linalool can actually depend on the smell of the compound emitted in their exhaled breath.”

“These results provide information on the potential central neuronal mechanisms that lie the reason for the odor-induced anxiolytic effects and the reason for investigating the clinical application of linalol odor in anxiety therapies, “writers w rital.” Linalool odor-induced anxiolytic effect may be applicable to preoperative patients as pre-treatment with anxiolytics may relieve preoperative stress and thus contribute to placement Additionally, the function (f, b, l, e, v, n, t, s)
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