21st Century COE Program Human Nutritional Science on Stress Control
Research Aim
Dr. Takeda's Labo
Dr. Terao's Labo
Dr. Miyamoto's Labo
Dr. Nakaya's Labo
Dr. Rokutan's Labo
Dr. Chuman's Labo
Dr. Kaji's Labo
Dr. Ohmori's Labo
Dr. Sei's Labo
Research Aim
Stressful life events may contribute to the onset and course of mood deterioration and affective disorders such as depression. Stress is a pervasive factor in everyday life that critically affects development and functioning. It has been hypothesized that stress exposure has important adaptive consequences by enhancing neurobehavioral ontogeny for virtually all animal species. However, severe and prolonged stress exposure impairs homeostatic mechanisms that can aversively affect functioning of multiple organ systems. Stress appears to play a major role in the pathophysiology of nearly all psychiatric disorders particularly depressive illness.

The goals of the 21st century COE program "Human Nutritional Science on Stress Control" in University of Tokushima Graduate School are to develop a novel scientific field for human nutrition in stress research and to employ these strategies to examine the functions of foods on human mind. We have developed a novel method that makes it possible to simply, objectively evaluate human stress response using a microarray technique. Particularly, we have succeeded in detecting a gene expression profile characteristic of major depression in peripheral blood leukocytes. At the same time, we have been developing "nanobiodevices" to promptly measure these maker gene products. Based on our state-of-the-art technologies and outstanding achievements in human nutrition, this COE program will definitely meet the demands of society by establishing a new "biomental" technique to objectively measure pathological stress responses, introducing brain foods that correctly regulate stress responses, and developing an integrated system to open a new field of research.

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