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Horm Behav. 2006 Nov;50(4):550-61. Epub 2006 Jul 25.

Role of corticotropin releasing factor in anxiety disorders: a translational research perspective.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA.

Abstract

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders that include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobic disorders (e.g., specific phobias, agoraphobia, social phobia) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anxiety disorders are among the most common of all mental disorders and, when coupled with an awareness of the disability and reduced quality of life they convey, they must be recognized as a serious public health problem. Over 20 years of preclinical studies point to a role for the CRF system in anxiety and stress responses. Clinical studies have supported a model of CRF dysfunction in depression and more recently a potential contribution to specific anxiety disorders (i.e., panic disorder and PTSD). Much work remains in both the clinical and preclinical fields to inform models of CRF function and its contribution to anxiety. First, we will review the current findings of CRF and HPA axis abnormalities in anxiety disorders. Second, we will discuss startle reflex measures as a tool for translational research to determine the role of the CRF system in development and maintenance of clinical anxiety.

PMID:
16870185
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1884405
Free PMC Article
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