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Life Science Zurich Communication & Events

New agent blocks stress response

If the body’s natural stress response gets knocked off balance, it can result in physical and mental health disorders. Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed an agent capable of selectively inhibiting this response.

Chronic stress in the workplace can lead to a wide range of physical and mental illnesses. (Photograph: Adobe Stock)

In brief

  • The only way to block harmful stress responses to date has involved the use of a drug that is accompanied by a host of unwanted side effects.
  • Using a specific method called 'PROTAC, ETH Zurich researchers have developed a drug molecule that has a more targeted effect.
  • In the future, this could enable stress-​related conditions such as chronic depression to be treated much more specifically and with fewer side effects.