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and treatment of mental illnesses.

Science News About Anxiety Disorders

illustration of human brain seen from above
Brain Activity Patterns After Trauma May Predict Long-Term Mental Health

The way a person’s brain responds to stress following a traumatic event, such as a car accident, may help to predict their long-term mental health outcomes, according to NIMH-supported research.

a young woman looks pensively out a window
Study Identifies Risk Factors for Elevated Anxiety in Young Adults During COVID-19 Pandemic

A new study has identified early risk factors that predicted heightened anxiety in young adults during the coronavirus pandemic.

Black silhouette of a toddler, teen, and adult placed against a yellow and blue background.
Infant Temperament Predicts Personality More Than 20 Years Later

Researchers investigating how temperament shapes adult life-course outcomes have found that behavioral inhibition in infancy predicts a reserved, introverted personality at age 26 and for some, a risk of internalizing psychopathology such as anxiety and depression.

This is an image of neuronal receptors.
Fast-Fail Trial Shows New Approach to Identifying Brain Targets for Clinical Treatments

An innovative NIMH-funded trial shows that a receptor involved in the brain’s reward system may be a viable target for treating anhedonia (or lack of pleasure), a key symptom of several mood and anxiety disorders.

Image showing differences in fMRI activation between children with and without anhedonia during reward anticipation.
NIH Study Reveals Differences in Brain Activity in Children with Anhedonia

Researchers have identified changes in brain connectivity and brain activity during rest and reward anticipation in children with anhedonia, a condition where people lose interest and pleasure in activities they used to enjoy.

fear lab trainees with poster at SFN 2018
Puerto Rico’s “Fear Lab” Mentors Neuroscience Rigor amid Diversity

A lineage of young neuroscientists from diverse backgrounds trace their scientific roots to a “fear lab” in Puerto Rico that the National Institutes of Health has been supporting for two decades.

NIMH Research Domain Criteria
Webinar: RDoC - Fear & Anxiety: From Mechanisms to Implementation

This November 2016 RDoC webinar highlights the role of fear and anxiety in disorders such as phobias and depression.

teens sitting on stairs
Pediatrics-based Brief Therapy Outdoes Referral for Youths with Anxiety and Depression

A streamlined behavioral therapy delivered in a pediatrics practice offered much greater benefit to youth with anxiety and depression than a more standard referral to mental health care with follow-up in a clinical trial comparing the two approaches.

hippocampus PET scan
Estrogen Alters Memory Circuit Function in Women with Gene Variant

Brain scans reveal that fluctuations in estrogen can trigger atypical functioning in a key brain memory circuit in women with a common version of a gene. Since working memory function is often disturbed in mental disorders, such gene-hormone interactions are suspect mechanisms that may confer risk.