Scientists have found out why stress makes hair gray

Scientists have found out why stress makes hair gray

Scientists have found out why stress makes hair gray

In the experiments, the scientists observed the relationship between pain and stress, with physical pain increasing the abundance of the stress hormone cortisol and ultimately affecting the cells responsible for hair color.

"In a young individual the cells are undifferentiated, like all stem cells, but with ageing, they gradually differentiate".

Those cells get knocked into overdrive, each one producing pigment to color the hair and prematurely depleting the reservoir.

"When we started to study this, I expected that stress was bad for the body - but the detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was beyond what I imagined". In just a few days, the reservoir of pigment-regenerating stem cells is depleted. And once they're gone, you can't regenerate the pigment, "added Hsu, lead author of the study published in the journal Nature". "The damage is permanent".

Prof Hsu said: "Stress always elevates levels of the hormone cortisol in the body, so we thought that cortisol might play a role". It was soon discovered that norepinephrine seemed to be triggering the excessive stem cell depletion.

Cunha says he witnessed the same whitening in the coat of mice he studied during research on the biochemical mechanisms of pain, an area that is his specialty at USP. The sympathetic nervous system is intimately linked to our stress response, so in that respect it's not entirely surprising it might have something to do with greying hair.

After much trial and error, scientists were able to link the graying of hair to the sympathetic nerve system, which controls our responses to stressful situations.

Lead author Dr Bing Zhang, who is a member of the same lab, said: "Acute stress, particularly the fight-or-flight response, has been traditionally viewed to be beneficial for an animal's survival".

Our leer demonstrates that neuronal activity that is triggered by acute stress can drive a quick and eternal lack of somatic stem cells, and illustrates an instance in which the repairs of somatic stem cells is straight away influenced by the general physiological insist of the organism. The natural aging process is the leading cause. Stories of early graying haven't just involved royalty either-a 2013 study found almost 200 cases documented in the medical literature since 1800.

It is fascinating to consider what possible evolutionary advantage might be conferred by stress-induced graying. Most women will start to see white hair at the age of 35 and men will start to see it around the age of 30.

Some people will go grey at school while others will never see a grey hair in their lives.

The researchers then began troubleshooting to leer what became once in reality causing the grayness. Whether something similar (but in reverse) is at work in mammals and greying hair isn't clear yet, but these findings are a reminder that stress has widespread effects on the body, and may be working in ways that doctors still don't fully understand.

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