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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2019 Mar 2;21(3):16. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1002-7.

Genetics of Anxiety Disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Sandra.Meier@iwk.nshealth.ca.
2
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre-Mental Health Services Capital Region, Copenhagen Region, Denmark. Sandra.Meier@iwk.nshealth.ca.
3
Psychosis Research Unit, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark. Sandra.Meier@iwk.nshealth.ca.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, Center of Mental Health, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental disorders with a lifetime prevalence of over 20%. Clinically, anxiety is not thought of as a homogenous disorder, but is subclassified in generalized, panic, and phobic anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are moderately heritable. This review will explore recent genetic and epigenetic approaches to anxiety disorders explaining differential susceptibility risk.

RECENT FINDINGS:

A substantial portion of the variance in susceptibility risk can be explained by differential inherited and acquired genetic and epigenetic risk. Available data suggest that anxiety disorders are highly complex and polygenic. Despite the substantial progress in genetic research over the last decade, only few risk loci for anxiety disorders have been identified so far. This review will cover recent findings from large-scale genome-wide association studies as well as newer epigenome-wide studies. Progress in this area will likely require analysis of much larger sample sizes than have been reported to date. We discuss prospects for clinical translation of genetic findings and future directions for research.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Epigenetics; GWAS; Genetic

PMID:
30826936
DOI:
10.1007/s11920-019-1002-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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