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The heritability of anxiety

Research in related monkeys could improve understanding of anxiety disorders

Society for Neuroscience

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IMAGE: Individual differences in the connectivity between regions of the brain involved in fear and anxiety are heritable, according to a large study of hundreds of related monkeys published in JNeurosci.... view more 

Credit: Fox et al., JNeurosci (2018)

Individual differences in the connectivity between regions of the brain involved in fear and anxiety are heritable, according to a large study of hundreds of related monkeys published in JNeurosci. The research provides new insights into the risk and development of anxiety disorders.

Using brain imaging techniques regularly employed in human studies, Ned Kalin and colleagues found that functional connectivity between two regions of the central extended amygdala is associated with anxious temperament in pre-adolescent rhesus macaques. As extreme early-life anxiety is a risk factor for anxiety disorders and depression in humans, further study of this nonhuman primate model may yield new directions in the prevention of these disorders in at-risk children. This would represent an improvement over current treatments, which address symptoms rather than the mechanisms underlying the development of these disorders.

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Article: Functional connectivity within the primate extended amygdala is heritable and associated with early-life anxious temperament
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0102-18.2018
Corresponding author: Ned Kalin (University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, USA), nkalin@wisc.edu

About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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