... health, money, or family problems. But people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) feel extremely worried or feel nervous about ... I find more information? To learn more about generalized anxiety disorder, visit: MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine) http: / / medlineplus. ...
Zhong, Qiu-Yue; Gelaye, Bizu; Zaslavsky, Alan M.; Fann, Jesse R.; Rondon, Marta B.; Sánchez, Sixto E.; Williams, Michelle A.
Objective Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) during pregnancy is associated with several adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes. A reliable and valid screening tool for GAD should lead to earlier detection and treatment. Among pregnant Peruvian women, a brief screening tool, the GAD-7, has not been validated. This study aims to evaluate the reliability and validity of the GAD-7. Methods Of 2,978 women who attended their first perinatal care visit and had the GAD-7 screening, 946 had a Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). The Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to examine the reliability. We assessed the criterion validity by calculating operating characteristics. The construct validity was evaluated using factor analysis and association with health status on the CIDI. The cross-cultural validity was explored using the Rasch Rating Scale Model (RSM). Results The reliability of the GAD-7 was good (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.89). A cutoff score of 7 or higher, maximizing the Youden Index, yielded a sensitivity of 73.3% and a specificity of 67.3%. One-factor structure of the GAD-7 was confirmed by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Concurrent validity was supported by the evidence that higher GAD-7 scores were associated with poor self-rated physical and mental health. The Rasch RSM further confirmed the cross-cultural validity of the GAD-7. Conclusion The results suggest that the Spanish-language version of the GAD-7 may be used as a screening tool for pregnant Peruvian women. The GAD-7 has good reliability, factorial validity, and concurrent validity. The optimal cutoff score obtained by maximizing the Youden Index should be considered cautiously; women who screened positive may require further investigation to confirm GAD diagnosis. PMID:25915929
Bélanger, Lynda; Morin, Charles M; Langlois, Frédéric; Ladouceur, Robert
Although clinical practice suggests that sleep complaints are frequent among patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), frequency, severity, types of insomnia complaints, and relationship to GAD diagnosis severity in patients diagnosed using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria are not well documented. Clinical data about the impact on insomnia symptoms of treating GAD worries are also lacking. The present study examined these aspects in 44 GAD patients who participated in a treatment study specifically addressing excessive worries through CBT interventions. All patients were assessed using a structured clinical interview and the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule-IV (ADIS-IV). They also completed anxiety and insomnia inventories, including the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), a self-report measure which assesses insomnia type, severity and interference with daily life. Among this sample, 47.7% reported difficulties initiating sleep, 63.6% reported difficulties maintaining sleep, and 56.8% complained of waking too early in the morning. The majority of these patients (86.5%) reported never having experienced insomnia without having excessive worries. However, insomnia severity and GAD severity were not correlated. In this sample, patients with severe GAD did not necessarily report more severe insomnia symptoms. Regarding treatment impact on insomnia complaints, ISI post-treatment scores were significantly lower after treatment. Mean post-treatment scores almost reached ISI's "absence of clinical insomnia" category. Results indicate that this CBT package for GAD does have a significant impact on sleep quality even if sleep disturbances were not specifically addressed during treatment.
Ylisaukko-Oja, Tero; Jokelainen, Jari; Hirsikangas, Sari; Kanste, Outi; Kyngäs, Helvi; Timonen, Markku
Abstract Objective. To analyse the prevalence of GAD and other anxiety disorders, as well as sensitivity and specificity of GAD-7 among high utilizers of health care. Setting. Four municipal health centres in Northern Finland. Subjects. A psychiatric interview was conducted for 150 high utilizers of health care. Main outcome measures. Prevalence of GAD as well as sensitivity and specificity of GAD-7. Results. The prevalence of GAD was 4% in this study group of Finnish high utilizers of health care. The sensitivity of GAD-7 was 100.0% (95% CI 54.1–100.0) and the specificity of GAD-7 was 82.6% (95% CI 75.4–88.4) with a cut-off point of 7 or more. Conclusion. GAD is rather common among high utilizers of primary care, although the prevalence of 4% is lower than that previously reported. GAD-7 is a valid and useful tool for detecting GAD among primary health care patients. PMID:24920316
Behar, Evelyn; DiMarco, Ilyse Dobrow; Hekler, Eric B; Mohlman, Jan; Staples, Alison M
Theoretical conceptualizations of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) continue to undergo scrutiny and refinement. The current paper critiques five contemporary models of GAD: the Avoidance Model of Worry and GAD [Borkovec, T. D. (1994). The nature, functions, and origins of worry. In: G. Davey & F. Tallis (Eds.), Worrying: perspectives on theory assessment and treatment (pp. 5-33). Sussex, England: Wiley & Sons; Borkovec, T. D., Alcaine, O. M., & Behar, E. (2004). Avoidance theory of worry and generalized anxiety disorder. In: R. Heimberg, C. Turk, & D. Mennin (Eds.), Generalized anxiety disorder: advances in research and practice (pp. 77-108). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press]; the Intolerance of Uncertainty Model [Dugas, M. J., Letarte, H., Rheaume, J., Freeston, M. H., & Ladouceur, R. (1995). Worry and problem solving: evidence of a specific relationship. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 19, 109-120; Freeston, M. H., Rheaume, J., Letarte, H., Dugas, M. J., & Ladouceur, R. (1994). Why do people worry? Personality and Individual Differences, 17, 791-802]; the Metacognitive Model [Wells, A. (1995). Meta-cognition and worry: a cognitive model of generalized anxiety disorder. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23, 301-320]; the Emotion Dysregulation Model [Mennin, D. S., Heimberg, R. G., Turk, C. L., & Fresco, D. M. (2002). Applying an emotion regulation framework to integrative approaches to generalized anxiety disorder. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9, 85-90]; and the Acceptance-based Model of GAD [Roemer, L., & Orsillo, S. M. (2002). Expanding our conceptualization of and treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: integrating mindfulness/acceptance-based approaches with existing cognitive behavioral models. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9, 54-68]. Evidence in support of each model is critically reviewed, and each model's corresponding evidence-based therapeutic interventions are discussed. Generally speaking, the models share an
Moore, Michael T; Anderson, Nicholas L; Barnes, Jill M; Haigh, Emily A P; Fresco, David M
The fourth edition of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-Q-IV) is a self-report measure that is commonly used to screen for the presence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The current investigation attempted to identify an optimal cut score using samples obtained from an outpatient psychiatric (n=163) and primary care clinic (n=99). Results indicated that a cut score of 7.67 provided an optimal balance of sensitivity (.85) and specificity (.74) comparable to a previously identified cut score (5.7) across both samples (sensitivity=.90, specificity=.66). However, both cut scores were consistently outperformed by a score representing the criteria for GAD described in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (sensitivity=.89, specificity=.82).
Background Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a prevalent mental health condition which is underestimated worldwide. This study carried out the cultural adaptation into Spanish of the 7-item self-administered GAD-7 scale, which is used to identify probable patients with GAD. Methods The adaptation was performed by an expert panel using a conceptual equivalence process, including forward and backward translations in duplicate. Content validity was assessed by interrater agreement. Criteria validity was explored using ROC curve analysis, and sensitivity, specificity, predictive positive value and negative value for different cut-off values were determined. Concurrent validity was also explored using the HAM-A, HADS, and WHO-DAS-II scales. Results The study sample consisted of 212 subjects (106 patients with GAD) with a mean age of 50.38 years (SD = 16.76). Average completion time was 2'30''. No items of the scale were left blank. Floor and ceiling effects were negligible. No patients with GAD had to be assisted to fill in the questionnaire. The scale was shown to be one-dimensional through factor analysis (explained variance = 72%). A cut-off point of 10 showed adequate values of sensitivity (86.8%) and specificity (93.4%), with AUC being statistically significant [AUC = 0.957-0.985); p < 0.001]. The scale significantly correlated with HAM-A (0.852, p < 0.001), HADS (anxiety domain, 0.903, p < 0.001), and WHO-DAS II (0.696, p > 0.001). Limitations Elderly people, particularly those very old, may need some help to complete the scale. Conclusion After the cultural adaptation process, a Spanish version of the GAD-7 scale was obtained. The validity of its content and the relevance and adequacy of items in the Spanish cultural context were confirmed. PMID:20089179
Aim To psychometrically validate the Spanish version of the self-administered 2-item GAD-2 scale for screening probable patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). Methods The GAD-2 was self-administered by patients diagnosed with GAD according to DSM-IV criteria and by age- and sex-matched controls who were recruited at random in mental health and primary care centres. Criteria validity was explored using ROC curve analysis, and sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values were determined for different cut-off values. Concurrent validity was also established using the HAM-A, HADS, and WHODAS II scales. Results The study sample consisted of 212 subjects (106 patients with GAD) with a mean age of 50.38 years (SD = 16.76). No items of the scale were left blank. Floor and ceiling effects were negligible. No patients with GAD had to be assisted to complete the questionnaire. Reliability (internal consistency) was high; Cronbach’s α = 0.875. A cut-off point of 3 showed adequate sensitivity (91.5%) and specificity (85.8%), with a statistically significant area under the curve (AUC = 0.937, p < 0.001), to distinguish GAD patients from controls. Concurrent validity was also high and significant with HAM-A (0.806, p < 0.001), HADS (anxiety domain, 0.825, p < 0.001) and WHO-DAS II (0.642, p < 0.001) scales. Conclusion The Spanish version of the GAD-2 scale has been shown to have appropriate psychometric properties to rapidly detect probable cases of GAD in the Spanish cultural context under routine clinical practice conditions. PMID:22992432
Vasiliadis, Helen-Maria; Chudzinski, Veronica; Gontijo-Guerra, Samantha; Préville, Michel
Screening tools that appropriately detect older adults' mental disorders are of great public health importance. The present study aimed to establish cutoff scores for the 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress (K10) and the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) scales when screening for depression and anxiety. We used data from participants (n = 1811) in the Enquête sur la Santé des Aînés-Service study. Depression and anxiety were measured using DSM-V and DSM-IV criteria. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis provided an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.767 and 0.833 for minor and for major depression when using K10. A cutoff of 19 was found to balance sensitivity (0.794) and specificity (0.664) for minor depression, whereas a cutoff of 23 was found to balance sensitivity (0.692) and specificity (0.811) for major depression. When screening for an anxiety with GAD-7, ROC analysis yielded an AUC of 0.695; a cutoff of 5 was found to balance sensitivity (0.709) and specificity (0.568). No significant differences were found between subgroups of age and gender. Both K10 and GAD-7 were able to discriminate between cases and non-cases when screening for depression and anxiety in an older adult population of primary care service users.
Wittchen, H U; Hoyer, J; Beesdo, K; Krause, P
The core findings of the GAD-P study (Generalized anxiety and depression in primary care) are summarized and measures to improve the quality of care of patients with generalized anxiety disorders are discussed. In addition to the identification of core research deficits the paper emphasizes the standard use of time-efficient diagnostic screening instruments, because urgently needed improved recognition and diagnosis is the prerequisite for appropriate treatment. Further the role of the media to combat stigma processes, as well as patient education materials to improve compliance and to enhance treatment outcome effects for this neglected disorder that frequently runs a chronic course are highlighted.
Viana, Andres G; Rabian, Brian
This investigation examined the relation between perceived alienation from parents and peers, anxiety sensitivity (AS), and current worry and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms with the goal of expanding the knowledge base on factors that may contribute to the development of AS and its role in worry. The mediating role of AS between perceptions of alienation and current worry and GAD symptoms was also examined. Ninety-four non-clinical worriers completed self-report questionnaires assessing their perceptions of attachment, AS levels, and worry and GAD symptoms. Even after controlling for worry and GAD symptoms, greater perceptions of alienation from mothers and peers were significantly associated with higher AS symptoms. AS as a unitary construct mediated the relation between perceptions of alienation from mothers and peers and worry and GAD symptoms. The facets fear of publicly observable symptoms and fear of cognitive dyscontrol also mediated this relation. The role of alienation in relation to AS, worry, and GAD symptoms is discussed along with directions for future research.
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Adaptation and initial validation of the Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 7 Questionnaire (GAD-7) in an Arabic speaking Lebanese psychiatric outpatient sample.
Sawaya, Helen; Atoui, Mia; Hamadeh, Aya; Zeinoun, Pia; Nahas, Ziad
The Patient Health Questionnaire - 9 (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 7 (GAD-7) are short screening measures used in medical and community settings to assess depression and anxiety severity. The aim of this study is to translate the screening tools into Arabic and evaluate their psychometric properties in an Arabic-speaking Lebanese psychiatric outpatient sample. The patients completed the questionnaires, among others, prior to being evaluated by a clinical psychiatrist or psychologist. The scales' internal consistency and factor structure were measured and convergent and discriminant validity were established by comparing the scores with clinical diagnoses and the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire - MDD subset (PDSQ - MDD). Results showed that the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 are reliable screening tools for depression and anxiety and their factor structures replicated those reported in the literature. Sensitivity and specificity analyses showed that the PHQ-9 is sensitive but not specific at capturing depressive symptoms when compared to clinician diagnoses whereas the GAD-7 was neither sensitive nor specific at capturing anxiety symptoms. The implications of these findings are discussed in reference to the scales themselves and the cultural specificity of the Lebanese population.
Swartz, C M
Betaxolol, a long-acting beta-adrenergic blocker that enters the central nervous system, was examined for therapeutic effects on the persistent anxiety of anxiety disorders. Prior studies of beta-blockers examined only agents that were short-acting or did not enter the brain. Betaxolol was administered to 31 patients in open trials. Of 13 outpatients, 11 had generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and 2 had adjustment disorder with anxiety. Five with GAD had concurrent panic disorder. Of 18 inpatients, 16 had GAD and 2 had adjustment disorder with anxiety. Betaxolol doses were increased until the patient responded or declined further dosage. Severity was rated on a 4-point global scale. Before betaxolol, all were moderately or severely ill. In all patients with panic disorder panic attacks stopped within 2 days (p<0.001). Anxiety decreased to no more than marginally ill in 85% of outpatients (p<0.0001) and all inpatients (p<0.0001). Betaxolol doses were usually 5 mg once or twice daily; four inpatients took 10 to 20 mg twice daily. In sum, betaxolol administration was rapidly followed by improvements that were easily noticed by the doctor, even in patients with longstanding anxiety and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Preliminary observations in posttraumatic stress disorder are similar.
Klenk, Megan M.; Strauman, Timothy J.; Higgins, E. Tory
The etiology of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), including its high degree of comorbidity with major depressive disorder (MDD), remains a conceptual and clinical challenge. In this article, we discuss the relevance of regulatory focus theory, an influential theory of self-regulation, for understanding vulnerability to GAD as well as GAD/MDD comorbidity. The theory postulates two systems for pursuing desired end states: the promotion and prevention systems. Drawing upon studies documenting the affective and motivational consequences of failing to attain promotion versus prevention goals, as well as the literature linking promotion failure with depression, we propose how dysfunction within the prevention system could lead to GAD – with, as well as without, MDD. PMID:21516196
Hearn, Cate S; Donovan, Caroline L; Spence, Susan H; March, Sonja; Holmes, Monique C
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) in children is often comorbid with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We investigated whether worry, intolerance of uncertainty, beliefs about worry, negative problem orientation and cognitive avoidance, that are typically associated with GAD, are present in children with SAD. Participants included 60 children (8-12 years), matched on age and gender. Groups included children: with primary GAD and without SAD (GAD); with primary SAD and without GAD (SAD); and without an anxiety disorder (NAD). GAD and SAD groups scored significantly higher than the NAD group on worry, intolerance of uncertainty, negative beliefs about worry and negative problem orientation, however, they did not score differently from each other. Only the GAD group scored significantly higher than the NAD group on cognitive avoidance. These findings further understanding of the structure of SAD and suggest that the high comorbidity between SAD and GAD may be due to similar underlying processes within the disorders.
Bittner, Antje; Egger, Helen L.; Erkanli, Alaattin; Costello, E. Jane; Foley, Debra L.; Angold, Adrian
Background: Few longitudinal studies of child and adolescent psychopathology have examined the links between specific childhood anxiety disorders and adolescent psychiatric disorder. In this paper we test the predictive specificity of separation anxiety disorder (SAD), overanxious disorder (OAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and social…
... his life with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic attacks, describes here how he sought help to turn ... was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) including panic attacks. I discovered that my feelings were coming from ...
Patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) often have multiple medical comorbidities. The adrenal system and genetic and environmental factors are intermediaries between anxiety and medical illnesses such as chronic pain conditions and gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, endocrine, and respiratory disorders. Medical disorders associated with anxiety include migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, peptic ulcer disease, irritable bowel syndrome, coronary heart disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. Compared to people with pain conditions without GAD, individuals with pain conditions and GAD experience and register pain differently; they also have increased awareness of symptoms. Comorbid medical illnesses may influence treatment choice for GAD. Treatment of anxiety in young patients with GAD needs to be long-term to decrease vulnerability to medical conditions.
... making life feel overwhelming or out of control. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). For a person with OCD , anxiety takes ... For Kids For Parents MORE ON THIS TOPIC Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Social Phobia 5 Ways to Deal With Anxiety ...
Calleo, Jessica; Kunik, Mark E.; Reid, Dana; Kraus-Schuman, Cynthia; Paukert, Amber; Regev, Tziona; Wilson, Nancy; Petersen, Nancy J.; Snow, A. Lynn; Stanley, Melinda
Background Overlap of cognitive and anxiety symptoms (i.e., difficulty concentrating, fatigue, restlessness) contributes to inconsistent, complicated assessment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)in persons with dementia. Methods Anxious dementia patients completed a psychiatric interview, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire-Abbreviated, and the Rating for Anxiety in Dementia scale. Analyses to describe the 43 patients with and without GAD included the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney two-sample test, Fisher’s exact test. Predictors of GAD diagnosis were identified using logistic regression. Results Those with GAD were more likely to be male, have less severe dementia and endorsed more worry, and anxiety compared to patients without GAD. Gender, muscle tension and fatigue differentiated those with GAD from those without GAD. Conclusions Although this study is limited by a small sample, it describes clinical characteristics of GAD in dementia, highlighting the importance of muscle tension and fatigue in recognizing GAD in persons with dementia. PMID:22062223
Klein, Rachel G.
Because of their high prevalence and their negative long-term consequences, child anxiety disorders have become an important focus of interest. Whether pathological anxiety and normal fear are similar processes continues to be controversial. Comparative studies of child anxiety disorders are scarce, but there is some support for the current…
... making life feel overwhelming or out of control. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) . For a person with OCD, anxiety takes ... For Kids For Parents MORE ON THIS TOPIC Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Taking Your Child to a Therapist Posttraumatic Stress ...
Anxiey, in general, helps one to cope. It rouses a person to action and gears one up to face a threatening situation. It makes students study harder for exams, and keeps presenters on their toes when making speeches. But an anxiety disorder can prevent one from coping and can disrupt daily life. Anxiety disorders are not just a case of…
Larson, Michael J; Clawson, Ann; Clayson, Peter E; Baldwin, Scott A
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display poor emotional conflict adaptation, a cognitive control process requiring the adjustment of performance based on previous-trial conflict. It is unclear whether GAD-related conflict adaptation difficulties are present during tasks without emotionally-salient stimuli. We examined conflict adaptation using the N2 component of the event-related potential (ERP) and behavioral responses on a Flanker task from 35 individuals with GAD and 35 controls. Groups did not differ on conflict adaptation accuracy; individuals with GAD also displayed intact RT conflict adaptation. In contrast, individuals with GAD showed decreased amplitude N2 principal component for conflict adaptation. Correlations showed increased anxiety and depressive symptoms were associated with longer RT conflict adaptation effects and lower ERP amplitudes, but not when separated by group. We conclude that individuals with GAD show reduced conflict-related component processes that may be influenced by compensatory activity, even in the absence of emotionally-salient stimuli.
Newman, Michelle G.; Shin, Ki Eun; Zuellig, Andrea R.
Background There is a lack of clarity regarding specific risk factors discriminating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) from panic disorder (PD). Goal This study investigated whether GAD and PD could be discriminated through differences in developmental etiological factors including childhood parental loss/separation, psychological disorders, and maternal and paternal attachment. Method Twenty people with adult generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), 20 with adult panic disorder (PD), 11 with adult comorbid GAD and PD, and 21 adult non-anxious controls completed diagnostic interviews to assess symptoms of mental disorders in adulthood and childhood. Participants also reported on parental attachment, loss, and separation. Results Childhood diagnoses of GAD and PD differentiated clinical groups from controls as well as from each other, suggesting greater likelihood for homotypic over heterotypic continuity. Compared to controls, specific phobia was associated with all three clinical groups, and childhood depression, social phobia, and PTSD were uniquely associated with adult GAD. Both maternal and paternal attachment also differentiated clinical groups from controls. However, higher levels of subscales reflecting maternal insecure avoidant attachment (e.g., no memory of early childhood experiences and balancing/forgiving current state of mind) emerged as more predictive of GAD relative to PD. There were no group differences in parental loss or separation. Conclusions These results support differentiation of GAD and PD based on developmental risk factors. Recommendations for future research and implications of the findings for understanding the etiology and symptomatology of GAD and PD are discussed. PMID:27466747
Tsypes, Aliona; Aldao, Amelia; Mennin, Douglas S
Diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) include sleep problems, which often persist even after successful treatment of the disorder. The purpose of this study was to examine emotion dysregulation as a potential contributor to sleep problems in GAD patients. Participants comprised two groups: 59 individuals diagnosed with GAD and 66 healthy controls. They were assessed for the presence of mood and anxiety disorders and then completed self-report questionnaires assessing problems with sleep and emotion regulation. Participants in the GAD group scored significantly higher on a number of sleep outcomes than did the control group. Importantly, difficulties with emotion regulation statistically mediated the relationship between GAD and a wide range of outcomes of sleep dysfunction independently of the effects of depression and secondary anxiety diagnoses. Emotion regulation difficulties that characterize GAD mediate the relationship between symptoms of this disorder and a wide range of sleep problems. Implications for treatment and future research directions are discussed.
Alegría, Analucía A.; Hasin, Deborah S.; Nunes, Edward V.; Liu, Shang-Min; Davies, Carrie; Grant, Bridget F.; Blanco, Carlos
Objective Prior research has consistently documented a strong association between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and substance use disorder (SUD). GAD and SUD comorbidity (GAD-SUD) represents clinical challenges as the patients’ symptoms are often more severe and are frequently prolonged making their management more complex when compared with individuals with GAD only. The purpose of this study was to examine whether individuals with GAD-SUD differ meaningfully from individuals with GAD and no SUD comorbidity (GAD-NSUD) in terms of demographic characteristics, risk factors, psychiatric comorbidity and clinical correlates. Methods Data were derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) (N=43,093). Diagnoses were made using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM-IV version. Results We found that the lifetime prevalence rate of GAD-SUD is about 2.04% while that of GAD-NSUD is of 2.10%. Individuals with GAD-SUD showed higher psychiatric comorbidity rates than those with GAD-NSUD. Treatment seeking rates for GAD are equally low in GAD-SUD and GAD-NSUD. Both groups were as likely to receive pharmacological treatment for anxiety. Conclusion The findings of our study indicate that individuals of GAD-SUD constitutes half of the lifetime prevalence of GAD and that GAD-SUD is associated with high overall vulnerability for additional psychopathology, particularly in the externalizing spectrum, higher disability and higher use of alcohol and drugs to relieve anxiety symptoms. PMID:20923623
Chen, Jing; Wang, Zhiyan; Wu, Yan; Cai, Yiyun; Shen, Yifeng; Wang, Liwei; Shi, Shenxun
Background Cognitive theorists relate anxiety disorders to the way in which emotional information is processed. The existing research suggests that patients with anxiety disorders tend to allocate their attention toward threat-related information selectively, and this may differ among different types of anxious subjects. The aim of this study was to explore attentional bias in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) using the emotional Stroop task and compare the differences between them. Methods Forty-two patients with GAD, 34 patients with PD, and 46 healthy controls performed the emotional Stroop task with four word types, ie, GAD-related words, PD-related words, neutral words, and positive words. Results Patients with GAD and those with PD were slower than healthy controls to respond to all stimuli. Patients with GAD had longer response latencies in color-naming both PD-relevant words and GAD relevant words. Patients with PD had longer response latencies only in color-naming PD-related words, similar to healthy controls. Conclusion Patients with GAD and those with PD had a different pattern of attentional bias, and there was insufficient evidence to support the existence of specific attentional bias in patients with PD. PMID:23326197
Wu, Jade Q; Szpunar, Karl K; Godovich, Sheina A; Schacter, Daniel L; Hofmann, Stefan G
Research on future-oriented cognition in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has primarily focused on worry, while less is known about the role of episodic future thinking (EFT), an imagery-based cognitive process. To characterize EFT in this disorder, we used the experimental recombination procedure, in which 21 GAD and 19 healthy participants simulated positive, neutral and negative novel future events either once or repeatedly, and rated their phenomenological experience of EFT. Results showed that healthy controls spontaneously generated more detailed EFT over repeated simulations. Both groups found EFT easier to generate after repeated simulations, except when GAD participants simulated positive events. They also perceived higher plausibility of negative-not positive or neutral-future events than did controls. These results demonstrate a negativity bias in GAD individuals' episodic future cognition, and suggest their relative deficit in generating vivid EFT. We discuss implications for the theory and treatment of GAD.
Keller, Martin B
Although generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder associated with significant levels of morbidity, little is known of its long-term course and outcomes. During the first 5 years, GAD follows a chronic course with low rates of remission and moderate rates of relapse/recurrence following remission. Retrospective studies suggest that this chronic pattern may last up to 20 years. It is hoped that, as with depression, long-term prospective studies in GAD will provide insight into the course, nature, and outcomes of the disorder over time. The studies will also identify any changes in the duration and severity of episodes of GAD over time, enabling treatments to effectively reflect the course of the disorder. Studies of other anxiety disorders and depression suggest that the course and outcome of the disorder may be influenced by certain factors such as stressful life events, anxiety sensitivity/negative affect, gender, subsyndromal symptoms, and comorbid disorders. Currently, studies are underway to determine the effects of these factors on the risk of relapse/recurrence, maintenance of full symptoms, and development of subsyndromal symptoms in GAD. GAD is currently underrecognized and undertreated, but it is hoped that this will change with the ever-increasing awareness of anxiety disorders. As treatment for GAD becomes more common, future prospective studies will identify the effect of therapy on the course and nature of the disorder, leading to increased understanding of GAD and the development of effective treatment strategies tailored for individual patients.
Clifford, Kalin M; Duncan, Nakia A; Heinrich, Krista; Shaw, Jennifer
With the recent updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition; DSM-5), there are many questions on how to care for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and other psychiatric conditions. The current article reviews the new changes to the DSM-5 for diagnosis of GAD, discusses new anxiety assessment scales that are validated in older adults, evaluates pharmacological agents that have been studied in older adults for GAD treatment, and provides monitoring recommendations to help those who provide care to older adults experiencing GAD.
Yiend, Jenny; Mathews, Andrew; Burns, Tom; Dutton, Kevin; Fernández-Martín, Andrés; Georgiou, George A.; Luckie, Michael; Rose, Alexandra; Russo, Riccardo; Fox, Elaine
A well-established literature has identified different selective attentional orienting mechanisms underlying anxiety-related attentional bias, such as engagement and disengagement of attention. These mechanisms are thought to contribute to the onset and maintenance of anxiety disorders. However, conclusions to date have relied heavily on experimental work from subclinical samples. We therefore investigated individuals with diagnosed generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), healthy volunteers, and individuals with high trait anxiety (but not meeting GAD diagnostic criteria). Across two experiments we found faster disengagement from negative (angry and fearful) faces in GAD groups, an effect opposite to that expected on the basis of the subclinical literature. Together these data challenge current assumptions that we can generalize, to those with GAD, the pattern of selective attentional orienting to threat found in subclinical groups. We suggest a decisive two-stage experiment identifying stimuli of primary salience in GAD, then using these to reexamine orienting mechanisms across groups. PMID:26504675
Warren, Susan L.; Umylny, Polina; Aron, Emily; Simmens, Samuel J.
Objective: This research examined the validity of criteria for diagnosing social phobia (SOC) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), where the "DSM-IV" criteria were modified to better identify toddlers who could have these disorders. Method: Diagnoses were made with a semistructured clinical interview that included child observations.…
Dugas, Michel J; Anderson, Kristin G; Deschenes, Sonya S; Donegan, Eleanor
The purpose of this study was to extend previous work examining publication rates for the anxiety disorders and publication topics for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Specifically, we examined anxiety disorder publication rates in MEDLINE and PsycINFO from 1998 to 2008. The results show: (1) that with the exception of panic disorder, there was a significant increase in the annual rate of publications for every anxiety disorder; (2) that GAD had the second lowest annual rate of publications in every year - with no more than 8% of anxiety disorder publications devoted to GAD in any given year; and (3) that GAD publications focused more often on treatment (44%) than on descriptive issues (26%), process issues (22%), and general reviews (8%). Given that citation analysis appears to be a valid indicator of research progress, the current findings suggest that research on GAD continues to lag behind research on most other anxiety disorders.
Cassidy, Jude; Lichtenstein-Phelps, June; Sibrava, Nicholas J.; Thomas, Charles L., Jr.; Borkovec, Thomas D.
Even though generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common of the anxiety disorders, relatively little is known about its precursors. Bowlby's attachment theory provides a framework within which these precursors can be considered. According to Bowlby, adult anxiety may be rooted in childhood experiences that leave a child uncertain…
Seeley, Saren H; Mennin, Douglas S; Aldao, Amelia; McLaughlin, Katie A; Rottenberg, Jonathan; Fresco, David M
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and unipolar depressive disorders (UDD) have been shown to differ from each other in dimensions of affective functioning despite their high rates of comorbidity. We showed emotional film clips to a community sample (n = 170) with GAD, GAD with secondary UDD, or no diagnosis. Groups had comparable subjective responses to the clips, but the GAD group had significantly lower heart rate variability (HRV) during fear and after sadness, compared to controls. While HRV in the GAD and control groups rose in response to the sadness and happiness clips, it returned to baseline levels afterwards in the GAD group, potentially indicating lesser ability to sustain attention on emotional stimuli. HRV in the GAD + UDD group changed only in response to sadness, but was otherwise unvarying between timepoints. Though preliminary, these findings suggest comorbid UDD as a potential moderator of emotional responding in GAD.
Seeley, Saren H.; Mennin, Douglas S.; Aldao, Amelia; McLaughlin, Katie A.; Rottenberg, Jonathan; Fresco, David M.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and unipolar depressive disorders (UDD) have been shown to differ from each other in dimensions of affective functioning despite their high rates of comorbidity. We showed emotional film clips to a community sample (n = 170) with GAD, GAD with secondary UDD, or no diagnosis. Groups had comparable subjective responses to the clips, but the GAD group had significantly lower heart rate variability (HRV) during fear and after sadness, compared to controls. While HRV in the GAD and control groups rose in response to the sadness and happiness clips, it returned to baseline levels afterwards in the GAD group, potentially indicating lesser ability to sustain attention on emotional stimuli. HRV in the GAD + UDD group changed only in response to sadness, but was otherwise unvarying between timepoints. Though preliminary, these findings suggest comorbid UDD as a potential moderator of emotional responding in GAD. PMID:27660375
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Labrecque, Joane; Dugas, Michel J.; Marchand, Andre; Letarte, Andree
The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral treatment package for comorbid generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA). A single-case, multiple-baseline, across-subjects design was used with 3 primary GAD patients with secondary PDA. The efficacy of the treatment was evaluated with…
Donegan, Eleanor; Dugas, Michel J.
Objective: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worry and somatic symptoms of anxiety (e.g., restlessness, muscle tension). Several psychological treatments lead to significant reductions in GAD symptoms by posttreatment. However, little is known about how GAD symptoms change over time. Our main goal was to examine how…
Epidemiological studies show that anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and an important cause of functional impairment; they constitute the most frequent menial disorders in the community. Phobias are the most common with the highest rates for simple phobia and agoraphobia. Panic disorder (PD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are less frequent (2% lifetime prevalence), and there are discordant results for social phobia (SP) (2%-16%) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (3%-30%). These studies underline the importance of an accurate definition of disorders using unambiguous diagnostic and assessment criteria. The boundaries between anxiety disorders are often ill defined and cases may vary widely according to the definition applied. Simple phobia, agoraphobia, and GAD are more common in vmrnen, while there is no gender différence for SP, PD, and OCD, Anxiety disorders are more common in separated, divorced, and widowed subjects; their prevalence is highest in subjects aged 25 to 44 years and lowest in subjects aged >65 years. The age of onset of the different types of anxiety disorders varies widely: phobic disorders begin early in life, whereas PD occurs in young adulthood. Clinical - rather than epidemiological - studies have examined risk factors such as life events, childhood experiences, and familial factors. Anxiety disorders have a chronic and persistent course, and are frequently comorbid with other anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and substance abuse. Anxiety disorders most frequently precede depressive disorders or substance abuse, Comorbid diagnoses may influence risk factors like functional impairment and quality of life. It remains unclear whether certain anxiety disorders (eg, PD) are risk factors for suicide. The comorbidity of anxiety disorders has important implications for assessment and treatment and the risk factors should be explored. The etiology, natural history, and outcome of these disorders need to be further addressed
Zahreddine, Nada; Richa, Sami
Introduction: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a prevalent and very disabling anxiety disorder. First-line medications are antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin and noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). However, a substantial number of patients do not reach remission while on antidepressants and they may develop troublesome side effects, which highlights the necessity of new therapeutic options for GAD. Methods: The purpose of this review is to discuss all non-antidepressant treatments studied in GAD. We searched MedLine for English articles published between 1980 and 2012, containing the following keywords: "generalized (or generalised) anxiety disorder" OR "anxiety disorder", AND "drug therapy" OR "herbal medicine". 76 articles were finally selected. Results: Pregabalin is the anticonvulsant with the most robust level of evidence in GAD. It rapidly reduces anxiety, have a safe side effect profile and presents a low potential for abuse. Among antipsychotics, quetiapine is the one of choice in GAD, with similar efficacy to SSRIs in low dosages, yet with lower overall tolerability. Benzodiazepines, buspirone and hydroxyzine are Food and Drugs administration (FDA) approved for GAD and have relatively good evidence of efficacy. Other drugs (betablockers, zolpidem, riluzole, etc…) and natural remedies (e.g. Piper methysticum) could be potential treatment options, yet additional research is warranted. Conclusion: Pregabalin and quetiapine are the two most promising non-antidepressant treatments for GAD.
Bourgeois, Michelle L; Brown, Timothy A
The relationships between neuroticism, perceived emotion control, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) severity were examined in 293 individuals diagnosed with GAD at a specialty anxiety disorders clinic. Hierarchical regression analyses performed within a structural equation modeling framework revealed that (1) neuroticism and perceived emotion control both predicted a latent variable of GAD in the expected direction, and (2) perceived emotion control moderated the relationship between neuroticism and GAD severity, such that lower levels of perceived emotion control were associated with a stronger relationship between neuroticism and GAD severity. The other dimensions of perceived control (i.e., stress and threat control) did not moderate the effect of neuroticism on GAD severity. The findings are discussed with regard to their implications to conceptual models of the psychopathology of GAD, and theory-based differential relationships between dimensions of vulnerability, perceived control, and anxiety disorders.
Zayfert, Claudia; Dums, Aricca R; Ferguson, Robert J; Hegel, Mark T
Although anxiety disorders have been associated with impairments in self-reported health functioning, the relative effect of various anxiety disorders has not been studied. We compared health functioning of patients with a principal diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients with PTSD and MDD were equally impaired on overall mental health functioning, and both were significantly worse than patients with PD and GAD. PTSD was associated with significantly worse physical health functioning relative to PD, GAD, and MDD. Hierarchical regression showed that the association of PTSD with physical health functioning was unique and was not caused by the effects of age, depression, or comorbid anxiety disorders. Both PTSD and comorbid anxiety accounted for unique variance in mental functioning. These results highlight the association of PTSD with impaired physical and mental functioning and suggest that effective treatment of PTSD may affect overall health.
Cousineau, Héloïse; Marchand, André; Bouchard, Stéphane; Bélanger, Claude; Gosselin, Patrick; Langlois, Frédéric; Labrecque, Joane; Dugas, Michel J; Belleville, Geneviève
Patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) frequently also suffer from insomnia. However, the impact of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders on insomnia has been understudied. Furthermore, comorbidity between anxiety disorders is common. Our main objective was to assess the impact of CBT for PDA or GAD on insomnia. In a quasi-experimental design, 86 participants with PDA and GAD received conventional CBT for their primary disorder or combined CBT for both disorders. Overall, CBTs had a significant impact on reducing insomnia symptoms (η = 0.58). However, among people with insomnia at pretest (67%), 33% still had an insomnia diagnosis, and the majority (63%) had clinically significant residual insomnia following treatment. In conclusion, the CBTs had a positive effect on the reduction of insomnia, but a significant proportion of participants still had insomnia problems following treatment. Clinicians should address insomnia during CBT for PDA and GAD.
An evidence-based review of nonpharmacological treatments for anxiety disorders is presented. The vast majority of the controlled research is devoted to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and shows its efficiency and effectiveness in all the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) anxiety disorders in meta-analyses. Relaxation, psychoanalytic therapies, Rogerian nondirective therapy, hypnotherapy and supportive therapy were examined in a few controlled studies, which preclude any definite conclusion about their effectiveness in specific phobias, agoraphobia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), CBT was clearly better than psychoanalytic therapy in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and performance anxiety Psychological debriefing for PTSD appeared detrimental to the patients in one high-quality meta-analysis. Uncontrolled studies of psychosurgery techniques for intractable OCD demonstrated a limited success and detrimental side effects. The same was true for sympathectomy in ereutophobia. Transcranial neurostimulation for OCD is under preliminary study. The theoretical and practical problems of CBT dissemination are discussed.
Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C.; Lipska, Barbara K.; Shin, Joo Heon; Xie, Bin; Ye, Tianzhang; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Kleinman, Joel E.; Hyde, Thomas M.
Genetic variation and early adverse environmental events work together to increase risk for schizophrenia. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adult mammalian brain, plays a major role in normal brain development, and has been strongly implicated in the pathobiology of schizophrenia. GABA synthesis is controlled by two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, GAD1 and GAD2, both of which produce a number of alternative transcripts. Genetic variants in the GAD1 gene are associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, and reduced expression of its major transcript in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). No consistent changes in GAD2 expression have been found in brains from patients with schizophrenia. In this work, with the use of RNA sequencing and PCR technologies, we confirmed and tracked the expression of an alternative truncated transcript of GAD2 (ENST00000428517) in human control DLPFC homogenates across lifespan besides the well-known full length transcript of GAD2. In addition, using quantitative RT-PCR, expression of GAD2 full length and truncated transcripts were measured in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The expression of GAD2 full length transcript is decreased in the DLPFC of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients, while GAD2 truncated transcript is increased in bipolar disorder patients but decreased in schizophrenia patients. Moreover, the patients with schizophrenia with completed suicide or positive nicotine exposure showed significantly higher expression of GAD2 full length transcript. Alternative transcripts of GAD2 may be important in the growth and development of GABA-synthesizing neurons as well as abnormal GABA signaling in the DLPFC of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders. PMID:26848839
... fearful to talk at all in certain situations. Panic attacks. These episodes of anxiety can occur for no apparent reason. During a panic attack, a child typically has sudden and intense physical ...
Guttmann-Steinmetz, Sarit; Gadow, Kenneth D.; DeVincent, Carla J.; Crowell, Judy
We compared symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and separation anxiety disorder (SAD) in 5 groups of boys with neurobehavioral syndromes: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) plus autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD plus chronic multiple tic disorder (CMTD), ASD only, ADHD only, and community Controls. Anxiety symptoms were…
Cassidy, Jude; Lichtenstein-Phelps, June; Sibrava, Nicholas J; Thomas, Charles L; Borkovec, Thomas D
Even though generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common of the anxiety disorders, relatively little is known about its precursors. Bowlby's attachment theory provides a framework within which these precursors can be considered. According to Bowlby, adult anxiety may be rooted in childhood experiences that leave a child uncertain of the availability of a protective figure in times of trouble.Furthermore, adult "current state of mind with respect to attachment" is thought to relate to adult anxiety. Both attachment-related components were assessed with 8 subscales of the Perceptions of Adult Attachment Questionnaire(PAAQ). Clinically severe GAD clients who were about to begin therapy reported experiencing less maternal love in childhood, greater maternal rejection/neglect, and more maternal role-reversal/enmeshment than did control participants.In keeping with a cumulative risk model, risk for GAD increased as indices of poor childhood attachment experience increased. GAD clients, in contrast to controls,also reported greater current vulnerability in relation to their mothers as well as more difficulty accessing childhood memories. Logistic regression analyses revealed that elevations on PAAQ subscales could significantly predict GAD vs.non-GAD status. Results and the implications for advancing the theory and treatment of GAD are discussed.
Emhan, Ali; Selek, Salih; Bayazıt, Hüseyin; Fatih Karababa, İbrahim; Katı, Mahmut; Aksoy, Nurten
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a prevalent psychiatric disorder. The exact causes of GAD still unknown, in addition to neurochemical and neuroanatomic disorders, genetic and environmental factors are discussed in etiology. In our study we aimed to evaluate the oxidative metabolism's status and investigate the role of oxidative metabolites in GAD. Blood samples were taken from enrolled subjects in appropriate way and total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS), and oxidative stress index (OSI) were studied in Harran University Biochemistry Labs. Results were compared between groups. The patients' TOS and OSI levels were significantly higher than control group. The patients' TAS levels were significantly lower than controls'. According to our findings, oxidative stress mechanism might have a role in GAD pathophysiology. In the future, total antioxidants may be used as a biologic marker in GAD etiology but more research is needed.
Mavissakalian, M R; Hamann, M S; Abou Haidar, S; de Groot, C M
In an earlier report, we stated that personality profiles of patients with panic disorder/agoraphobia (n = 187) and obsessive-compulsive disorder ([ODC] n = 51) were similar, albeit more pronounced in OCD, suggesting that the link between panic disorder/agoraphobia and DSM-III personality disorders (PDs) or traits may be nonspecific. The present report extends the comparative study of DSM-III PDs/traits, as assessed by the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire (PDQ), by adding a third diagnostic group of 39 patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The personality assessment of panic disorder/agoraphobia and GAD patients yielded virtually identical results on the PDQ and Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI). Because GAD lacks the prominent panic, phobic, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms of other anxiety disorders, the present findings provide strong support for a nonspecific link between panic disorder/agoraphobia and DSM-III PDs/traits and for the presence of common personality characteristics in anxiety disorders.
Lam, Raymond W
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common, chronic and disabling anxiety disorder with considerable comorbidity with depression as well as with other anxiety disorders. Although tricyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines have been found to be efficacious in patients with GAD, tolerability problems and other risks limit their use in clinical practice. In placebo-controlled, acute (<8 weeks) trials, several medications, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ([SSRIs] escitalopram, paroxetine, and sertraline) and others (venlafaxine, buspirone, pregabalin), have demonstrated efficacy in patients with GAD. Indeed, current guidelines for the treatment of GAD recommend SSRIs as first-line pharmacological therapy because of their efficacy and tolerability profiles. Although GAD is a chronic condition that is usually present for years, with symptoms typically fluctuating in intensity over time, there have been few randomized, controlled trials of pharmacotherapy beyond the acute phase of treatment. However, data from recent relapse-prevention studies and longer-term maintenance studies with paroxetine, venlafaxine and escitalopram strongly support the value of continued treatment for at least a further 6 months. This article focuses on pharmacological treatment, and reviews recently available data from acute, long-term and relapse-prevention trials in patients with GAD. In addition, issues relating to the natural course of GAD are highlighted as important considerations to guide selection of pharmacotherapy.
Katzman, Martin A
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic disorder that frequently co-occurs with a variety of co-morbidities in patients with somatic conditions and other mental disorders. GAD is highly prevalent and is one of the most common anxiety disorders seen by primary care physicians. The individual and societal cost associated with GAD is high and the marked level of impairment experienced by patients with this disorder is equivalent in magnitude to that reported in patients with major depressive disorder. Furthermore, patients with GAD are at risk of suicide or suicide attempts, and are frequent users of healthcare services. Thus, GAD is a serious and chronic condition that requires appropriate long-term treatment. The focus of acute treatment for patients with GAD is the improvement of symptoms, while the primary goal of long-term clinical management is remission, i.e. the complete resolution of both symptoms and functional impairment. The consensus across current treatment guidelines is that first-line treatment for patients with GAD should consist of an antidepressant, either a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) such as sertraline, paroxetine or escitalopram, or a selective serotonin noradrenaline (norepinephrine) reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) such as venlafaxine or duloxetine. However, the SSRIs and SNRIs have efficacy limitations, such as lack of response in many patients, a 2- to 4-week delay before the onset of symptom relief, lack of full remission, and risk of relapse. In addition, there are troublesome adverse effects associated with both the SSRIs and SNRIs. Evidence from early clinical studies of the atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of anxiety and GAD indicate that they may have a potential role in the treatment of GAD, either as monotherapy or as augmentation to standard treatment.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, but Not Panic Anxiety Disorder, Are Associated with Higher Sensitivity to Learning from Negative Feedback: Behavioral and Computational Investigation.
Khdour, Hussain Y; Abushalbaq, Oday M; Mughrabi, Ibrahim T; Imam, Aya F; Gluck, Mark A; Herzallah, Mohammad M; Moustafa, Ahmed A
Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic anxiety disorder (PAD), are a group of common psychiatric conditions. They are characterized by excessive worrying, uneasiness, and fear of future events, such that they affect social and occupational functioning. Anxiety disorders can alter behavior and cognition as well, yet little is known about the particular domains they affect. In this study, we tested the cognitive correlates of medication-free patients with GAD, SAD, and PAD, along with matched healthy participants using a probabilistic category-learning task that allows the dissociation between positive and negative feedback learning. We also fitted all participants' data to a Q-learning model and various actor-critic models that examine learning rate parameters from positive and negative feedback to investigate effects of valence vs. action on performance. SAD and GAD patients were more sensitive to negative feedback than either PAD patients or healthy participants. PAD, SAD, and GAD patients did not differ in positive-feedback learning compared to healthy participants. We found that Q-learning models provide the simplest fit of the data in comparison to other models. However, computational analysis revealed that groups did not differ in terms of learning rate or exploration values. These findings argue that (a) not all anxiety spectrum disorders share similar cognitive correlates, but are rather different in ways that do not link them to the hallmark of anxiety (higher sensitivity to negative feedback); and (b) perception of negative consequences is the core feature of GAD and SAD, but not PAD. Further research is needed to examine the similarities and differences between anxiety spectrum disorders in other cognitive domains and potential implementation of behavioral therapy to remediate cognitive deficits.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, but Not Panic Anxiety Disorder, Are Associated with Higher Sensitivity to Learning from Negative Feedback: Behavioral and Computational Investigation
Khdour, Hussain Y.; Abushalbaq, Oday M.; Mughrabi, Ibrahim T.; Imam, Aya F.; Gluck, Mark A.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Moustafa, Ahmed A.
Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic anxiety disorder (PAD), are a group of common psychiatric conditions. They are characterized by excessive worrying, uneasiness, and fear of future events, such that they affect social and occupational functioning. Anxiety disorders can alter behavior and cognition as well, yet little is known about the particular domains they affect. In this study, we tested the cognitive correlates of medication-free patients with GAD, SAD, and PAD, along with matched healthy participants using a probabilistic category-learning task that allows the dissociation between positive and negative feedback learning. We also fitted all participants' data to a Q-learning model and various actor-critic models that examine learning rate parameters from positive and negative feedback to investigate effects of valence vs. action on performance. SAD and GAD patients were more sensitive to negative feedback than either PAD patients or healthy participants. PAD, SAD, and GAD patients did not differ in positive-feedback learning compared to healthy participants. We found that Q-learning models provide the simplest fit of the data in comparison to other models. However, computational analysis revealed that groups did not differ in terms of learning rate or exploration values. These findings argue that (a) not all anxiety spectrum disorders share similar cognitive correlates, but are rather different in ways that do not link them to the hallmark of anxiety (higher sensitivity to negative feedback); and (b) perception of negative consequences is the core feature of GAD and SAD, but not PAD. Further research is needed to examine the similarities and differences between anxiety spectrum disorders in other cognitive domains and potential implementation of behavioral therapy to remediate cognitive deficits. PMID:27445719
Knapp, Ashley A; Blumenthal, Heidemarie; Mischel, Emily R; Badour, Christal L; Leen-Feldner, Ellen W
Anxiety psychopathology, one of the most prevalent classes of disorder among youth, is linked to detrimental outcomes. Accordingly, identifying factors that influence vulnerability to anxiety disorders is important. One promising factor, given emerging evidence for its transdiagnostic nature, is anxiety sensitivity (AS); however, relatively little is known about the linkage between AS and indicators of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), particularly among youth. The aim of the current investigation was to address this gap in the literature using a community-based sample of adolescents aged 10-17 years (n = 165; M age = 14.49 years, SD = 2.26). Results indicated global AS and the AS-physical concerns dimension were significantly associated with worry, generalized anxiety symptoms, and GAD diagnosis assessed via a structured clinical interview, above and beyond key theoretically-relevant covariates. These findings add to a growing body of work underscoring the relevance of AS for multiple types of anxiety-related disorders among youth.
Kircanski, Katharina; Johnson, Douglas C; Mateen, Maria; Bjork, Robert A; Gotlib, Ian H
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by cognitive biases toward threat-relevant information, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We translated a retrieval-practice paradigm from cognitive science to investigate impaired inhibition of threat information as one such mechanism. Participants diagnosed with GAD and never-disordered control participants learned a series of cue-target pairs; whereas some cues were associated only with neutral targets, others were associated with both neutral and threat targets. Next, participants practiced retrieving neutral targets, which typically suppresses the subsequent recall of unpracticed associated targets (retrieval-induced forgetting; RIF). Finally, participants were tested on their recall of all targets. Despite showing intact RIF of neutral targets, the GAD group failed to exhibit RIF of threat targets. Furthermore, within the GAD group, less RIF of threat targets correlated with greater pervasiveness of worry. Deficits in inhibitory control over threat-relevant information may underlie the cognitive pathology of GAD, which has important treatment implications.
Misri, Shaila; Abizadeh, Jasmin; Sanders, Shawn; Swift, Elena
Perinatal generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has a high prevalence of 8.5%-10.5% during pregnancy and 4.4%-10.8% postpartum. Despite its attendant dysfunction in the patient, this potentially debilitating mental health condition is often underdiagnosed. This overview will provide guidance for clinicians in making timely diagnosis and managing symptoms appropriately. A significant barrier to the diagnosis of GAD in the perinatal population is difficulty in distinguishing normal versus pathological worry. Because a perinatal-specific screening tool for GAD is nonexistent, early identification, diagnosis and treatment is often compromised. The resultant maternal dysfunction can potentially impact mother-infant bonding and influence neurodevelopmental outcomes in the children. Comorbid occurrence of GAD and major depressive disorder changes the illness course and its treatment outcome. Psychoeducation is a key component in overcoming denial/stigma and facilitating successful intervention. Treatment strategies are contingent upon illness severity. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), relaxation, and mindfulness therapy are indicated for mild GAD. Moderate/severe illness requires pharmacotherapy and CBT, individually or in combination. No psychotropic medications are approved by the FDA or Health Canada in pregnancy or the postpartum; off-label pharmacological treatment is instituted only if the benefit of therapy outweighs its risk. SSRIs/SNRIs are the first-line treatment for anxiety disorders due to data supporting their efficacy and overall favorable side effect profile. Benzodiazepines are an option for short-term treatment. While research on atypical antipsychotics is evolving, some can be considered for severe manifestations where the response to antidepressants or benzodiazepines has been insufficient. A case example will illustrate the onset, clinical course, and treatment strategies of GAD through pregnancy and the postpartum.
Abizadeh, Jasmin; Sanders, Shawn; Swift, Elena
Abstract Perinatal generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has a high prevalence of 8.5%–10.5% during pregnancy and 4.4%–10.8% postpartum. Despite its attendant dysfunction in the patient, this potentially debilitating mental health condition is often underdiagnosed. This overview will provide guidance for clinicians in making timely diagnosis and managing symptoms appropriately. A significant barrier to the diagnosis of GAD in the perinatal population is difficulty in distinguishing normal versus pathological worry. Because a perinatal-specific screening tool for GAD is nonexistent, early identification, diagnosis and treatment is often compromised. The resultant maternal dysfunction can potentially impact mother–infant bonding and influence neurodevelopmental outcomes in the children. Comorbid occurrence of GAD and major depressive disorder changes the illness course and its treatment outcome. Psychoeducation is a key component in overcoming denial/stigma and facilitating successful intervention. Treatment strategies are contingent upon illness severity. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), relaxation, and mindfulness therapy are indicated for mild GAD. Moderate/severe illness requires pharmacotherapy and CBT, individually or in combination. No psychotropic medications are approved by the FDA or Health Canada in pregnancy or the postpartum; off-label pharmacological treatment is instituted only if the benefit of therapy outweighs its risk. SSRIs/SNRIs are the first-line treatment for anxiety disorders due to data supporting their efficacy and overall favorable side effect profile. Benzodiazepines are an option for short-term treatment. While research on atypical antipsychotics is evolving, some can be considered for severe manifestations where the response to antidepressants or benzodiazepines has been insufficient. A case example will illustrate the onset, clinical course, and treatment strategies of GAD through pregnancy and the postpartum. PMID:26125602
Dar, Kaiser A; Iqbal, Naved
Ample work has already been conducted on worry and rumination as negative thought processes involved in the etiology of most of the anxiety and mood related disorders. However, minimal effort has been exerted to investigate whether one type of negative thought process can make way for another type of negative thought process, and if so, how it subsequently results in experiencing a host of symptoms reflective of one or the other type of psychological distress. Therefore, the present study was taken up to investigate whether rumination mediates the relationship between worry and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and between worry and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in two clinical groups. Self-report questionnaires tapping worry, rumination, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) were administered to a clinical sample of 60 patients aged 30-40. Worry, rumination, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) correlated substantially with each other, however, rumination did not mediate the relationship between worry and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and between worry and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). We also analyzed differences of outcome variables within two clinical groups. These results showed that worry and rumination were significantly different between GAD and OCD groups.
Roemer, Lizabeth; Orsillo, Susan M.; Salters-Pedneault, Kristalyn
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic anxiety disorder, associated with comorbidity and impairment in quality of life, for which improved psychosocial treatments are needed. GAD is also associated with reactivity to and avoidance of internal experiences. The current study examined the efficacy of an acceptance-based behavioral therapy…
Scharfstein, Lindsay; Alfano, Candice; Beidel, Deborah; Wong, Nina
A common assumption is that all youth with anxiety disorders (AD) experience impaired peer relationships relative to healthy control children. Social impairments have been identified among youth with certain AD (e.g., social anxiety disorder; SAD), but less is known about the peer relationships of children with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).…
Vesga-López, Oriana; Schneier, Franklin; Wang, Samuel; Heimberg, Richard; Liu, Shang-Min; Hasin, Deborah S.; Blanco, Carlos
Objective To assess gender differences in the epidemiology, comorbidity and treatment-seeking patterns of DSM-IV Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in the United States. Method Data were derived from the 2001–2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a large cross-sectional survey of a representative sample (N=43,093) of the U.S. population. Results The lifetime and twelve-month male:female prevalence ratios of DSM-IV GAD were 1:1.9 and 1:2.2, respectively. Men with GAD had significantly higher rates of comorbid alcohol and drug use disorders, nicotine dependence, and antisocial personality disorder. Women with GAD had significantly higher rates of comorbid mood disorders (except bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders (except social anxiety disorder). Men with GAD reported greater use of alcohol and non-prescription medications to help relieve GAD symptoms. GAD in women was associated with higher family history of depression. Disability associated with GAD was greater in women than in men. Rates of treatment-seeking for DSM-IV GAD were low for both genders, but particularly low among men. Conclusion There are significant gender differences in the prevalence, comorbidity pattern, sociodemographic and clinical correlates, course, and treatment-seeking rates of persons with DSM-IV GAD. Increased recognition and treatment of GAD, particularly among men, could lead to a substantial reductions in the societal and personal burden and improve the quality of life of those afflicted with this disorder. PMID:19192444
Mahe, V; Balogh, A
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common anxiety disorders and has a poor prognosis, although it is often thought to be a minor complaint. This disorder has a chronic course of 5-15 years and longer. Long-term treatment with the commonly used benzodiazepines is controversial because of concerns over tolerance and dependence. We performed a thorough search of the literature for clinical trials of a duration of over 2 months conducted in patients with generalized anxiety disorder in order to identify any successful long-term treatment of this disorder. Only eight long-term reports of studies conducted in well-defined homogeneous groups of patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder were found with the methodology of these studies presenting a number of limiting factors. The results are inconclusive and no reference drug could be identified. In addition, an adequate evaluation of the long-term treatment of GAD has not yet been performed.
Lee, Sing; Lam, Ivy M H; Kwok, Kathleen P S; Leung, Candi M C
This community-based study examined the frequency of worry about personal health in respondents with and without generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and the impact of health anxiety on the disorder. A random community-based telephone survey of 5118 Chinese respondents aged 18-64 was conducted. A fully structured questionnaire covered the DSM-IV-TR criteria of GAD, major depressive episode (MDE), eight domains of worry, the seven-item Whiteley Index (WI-7), health service use, and socio-demographic information. Worry about personal health ranked fifth (75.6%) among eight domains of worries examined. GAD respondents with high level of health anxiety were significantly older, less educated, and had lower family income. High health anxiety significantly increased the occurrence of one-year MDE, previous persistent worry, previous persistent low mood, number of domains of worries, number of non-core DSM-IV-TR GAD symptoms, health service use, and mistrust of doctors. Health anxiety is common in GAD and may signify greater severity of the disorder.
Kim, Kyungwook; Lee, Seul; Kim, Jong-Hoon
Background Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic and highly prevalent disorder that is characterized by a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the linear and nonlinear complexity measures of heart rate variability (HRV), measuring autonomic regulation, and to evaluate the relationship between HRV parameters and the severity of anxiety, in medication-free patients with GAD. Methods Assessments of linear and nonlinear complexity measures of HRV were performed in 42 medication-free patients with GAD and 50 healthy control subjects. In addition, the severity of anxiety symptoms was assessed using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory. The values of the HRV measures of the groups were compared, and the correlations between the HRV measures and the severity of anxiety symptoms were assessed. Results The GAD group showed significantly lower standard deviation of RR intervals and the square root of the mean squared differences of successive normal sinus intervals values compared to the control group (P<0.01). The approximate entropy value, which is a nonlinear complexity indicator, was also significantly lower in the patient group than in the control group (P<0.01). In correlation analysis, there were no significant correlations between HRV parameters and the severity of anxiety symptoms. Conclusion The present study indicates that GAD is significantly associated with reduced HRV, suggesting that autonomic neurocardiac integrity is substantially impaired in patients with GAD. Future prospective studies are required to investigate the effects of pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment on neuroautonomic modulation in patients with GAD. PMID:27994467
Ashwin, Chris; Holas, Pawel; Broadhurst, Shanna; Kokoszka, Andrzej; Georgiou, George A; Fox, Elaine
People are typically faster and more accurate to detect angry compared to happy faces, which is known as the anger superiority effect. Many cognitive models of anxiety suggest anxiety disorders involve attentional biases towards threat, although the nature of these biases remains unclear. The present study used a Face-in-the-Crowd task to investigate the anger superiority effect in a control group and patients diagnosed with either generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or panic disorder (PD). The main finding was that both anxiety groups showed an enhanced anger superiority effect compared to controls, which is consistent with key theories of anxiety. Furthermore, both anxiety groups showed a differential pattern of enhanced bias towards threat depending on the crowd in the displays. The different attentional bias patterns between the GAD and PD groups may be related to the diverse symptoms in these disorders. These findings have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety.
Heiden, Colin van der
Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be efficacious in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, reviews of the clinical significance has indicated that approximately 50% of patients with GAD return to a 'well' status following treatment. So how might the field advance? One way is to base new treatments on GAD maintenance mechanisms. A treatment that does this is metacognitive therapy (MCT), which targets the beliefs about worrying, instead of worrying itself. So far, MCT has been evaluated in two open trials, and two randomized controlled trials, all of which achieved quite favorable results. That is, MCT achieved statistically significant decreases in GAD symptoms, with large effect sizes and high recovery rates, and was found to be superior to two forms of cognitive behavioral therapy. In this article, an overview of MCT and results of the studies on the effectiveness of MCT for GAD is given.
Youth with anxiety often present to their pediatricians with a chief complaint of physical symptoms without any mention of anxiety or worry. Even in the absence of reported symptoms of anxiety in such presentations, screening for an anxiety disorder as the potential source of the somatic complaints should be pursued. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder characterized by excessive anxiety and worry about a number of events coupled with at least one physical symptom. GAD is commonly underdiagnosed and treated. Consequently, many youth undergo extensive medical testing in search of a cause for their somatic symptoms before anxiety is considered. It is important to screen for anxiety early in the process of evaluating somatic complaints. This review highlights the evidence base for identifying and treating GAD in children and provides an update on its epidemiology and etiology. [Pediatr Ann. 2016;45(10):e349-e355.].
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common (lifetime prevalence: 5.1%), recurrent condition, which often heralds other psychiatric disorders, notably depression. As by definition it is a disorder progressing over months, treatment should be designed on a long term basis. And yet, few studies have been conducted beyond the classical 6-8 weeks characterizing the acute treatment phase. This is especially true of anxiolytics, but also of antidepressants, with the exception of paroxetine and venlafaxine, which are the only drugs approved in this indication in Western countries. The efficacy of psychotherapy, notably relaxation and cognitive-behavioral therapy, is established in the treatment of GAD, but its preferred indications and possible combination with antidepressants are still to be specified. Long term, not to say very long term studies of GAD, as well as depression, will still be required in the future to improve its management and specify therapeutic modalities (combination treatment, optimal duration, continuous or intermittent therapy, choice of psychotherapeutic techniques or agents, em leader ). Early and adequately prolonged treatment should not only result in more numerous remission periods, but also in decreased frequency of co-morbidities whether depressive, addictive, or of another nature, and should also reduce the social impact of GAD.
Dayalu, Praveen; Teener, James W
Antibodies directed against glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) are present in many patients with stiff person syndrome and increasingly found in patients with other symptoms indicative of central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction, such as ataxia. The classic clinical features of stiff person syndrome include muscular stiffness with superimposed painful muscular spasms. Gait is often impaired. Other CNS disorders associated with GAD antibodies include progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus (PERM), limbic encephalitis, and even epilepsy. Glutamic acid decarboxylase is the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. Presumably, antibodies directed against GAD impair GABA production, but the precise pathogenic mechanism of GAD-antibody-related neurologic disorders is uncertain. Many patients respond to treatment with immunomodulating therapy. Symptomatic treatment with agents that enhance GABA activity, such as benzodiazepines and baclofen, is also helpful for many patients.
Slavin-Mulford, Jenelle; Clements, Alyssa; Hilsenroth, Mark; Charnas, Jocelyn; Zodan, Jennifer
This study examined transdiagnostic features of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and dysthymia in an outpatient clinical sample. Fifteen patients who met DSM-IV criteria for GAD and twenty-one patients who met DSM-IV criteria for dysthymia but who did not have comorbid anxiety disorder were evaluated utilizing the Rorschach. Salient clinical variables were then compared. Results showed that patients with GAD scored significantly higher on variables related to cognitive agitation and a desire/need for external soothing. In addition, there was a trend for patients with GAD to produce higher scores on a measure of ruminative focus on negative aspects of the self. Thus, not surprisingly, GAD patients' experienced more distress than the dysthymic patients. The implications of these findings are discussed with regards to better understanding the shared and distinct features of GAD and dysthymia.
Ruscio, Ayelet Meron; Chiu, Wai Tat; Roy-Byrne, Peter; Stang, Paul E.; Stein, Dan J.; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Kessler, Ronald C.
Concerns have been raised that the DSM-IV requirements of six-month duration, excessive worry, and three associated symptoms exclude a substantial number of people with clinically significant anxiety from a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We examined the implications of relaxing these three criteria for the estimated prevalence and predictive validity of GAD using nationally representative data from the US National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Relaxing all three criteria more than doubles the estimated prevalence of GAD. Broadly-defined GAD significantly predicts the subsequent first onset of a wide range of temporally secondary disorders. The odds of secondary disorders are somewhat smaller for broadly-defined than DSM-IV GAD, though few of these differences are statistically significant. Results suggest that subthreshold manifestations of GAD are significantly related to elevated risk of subsequent psychopathology. Further research is needed to determine whether broadening the current diagnostic criteria results in a more valid characterization of GAD. PMID:17118626
Kreys, Tiffany-Jade M; Phan, Stephanie V
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of quetiapine for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a literature search of the Medline database was conducted from inception to May 2014. The search was not restricted by language. Keywords used in the search were quetiapine and generalized anxiety disorder or anxiety. All studies assessing the use of quetiapine as monotherapy or adjunct therapy for the primary management of GAD in adults 18-65 years of age were included in this review. The nine studies included in this review were three studies evaluating the use of quetiapine extended release (XR) as monotherapy for acute GAD treatment, one study evaluating quetiapine XR monotherapy for maintenance treatment of GAD, and five studies evaluating quetiapine (2 XR, 3 immediate release) as adjunct therapy for acute GAD treatment. Quetiapine displayed both efficacy and tolerability in all monotherapy trials evaluating its use for acute and long-term treatment of GAD. Despite some limitations to and heterogeneity among the five adjunct therapy studies, three studies showed that quetiapine resulted in statistically significant changes in the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale or Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness Scale scores. Although future studies of longer duration with broader inclusion criteria are needed to further evaluate the benefits and risks of quetiapine for GAD, in patients failing to respond to conventional antidepressant therapy, quetiapine may be a potential treatment option. With appropriate monitoring and management of adverse effects, the potential benefits of quetiapine in patients with treatment-refractory GAD may outweigh the risks associated with its use.
Engel, Kirsten; Bandelow, Borwin; Gruber, Oliver; Wedekind, Dirk
Neuroimaging studies have gained increasing importance in validating neurobiological network hypotheses for anxiety disorders. Functional imaging procedures and radioligand binding studies in healthy subjects and in patients with anxiety disorders provide growing evidence of the existence of a complex anxiety network, including limbic, brainstem, temporal, and prefrontal cortical regions. Obviously, "normal anxiety" does not equal "pathological anxiety" although many phenomena are evident in healthy subjects, however to a lower extent. Differential effects of distinct brain regions and lateralization phenomena in different anxiety disorders are mentioned. An overview of neuroimaging investigations in anxiety disorders is given after a brief summary of results from healthy volunteers. Concluding implications for future research are made by the authors.
Labrecque, Joane; Marchand, Andre; Dugas, Michel J.; Letarte, Andree
The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for comorbid panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) by combining treatment strategies for both disorders. A single-case, multiple-baseline design across participants was used. Three participants with primary PDA and secondary…
Tinoco-González, Daniella; Fullana, Miquel Angel; Torrents-Rodas, David; Bonillo, Albert; Vervliet, Bram; Blasco, María Jesús; Farré, Magí; Torrubia, Rafael
Abnormal fear conditioning processes (including fear acquisition and conditioned fear-generalization) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders. Previous research has shown that individuals with panic disorder present enhanced conditioned fear-generalization in comparison to healthy controls. Enhanced conditioned fear-generalization could also characterize generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but research so far is inconclusive. An important confounding factor in previous research is comorbidity. The present study examined conditioned fear-acquisition and fear-generalization in 28 patients with GAD and 30 healthy controls using a recently developed fear acquisition and generalization paradigm assessing fear-potentiated startle and online expectancies of the unconditioned stimulus. Analyses focused on GAD patients without comorbidity but included also patients with comorbid anxiety disorders. Patients and controls did not differ as regards fear acquisition. However, contrary to our hypothesis, both groups did not differ either in most indexes of conditioned fear-generalization. Moreover, dimensional measures of GAD symptoms were not correlated with conditioned fear-generalization indexes. Comorbidity did not have a significant impact on the results. Our data suggest that conditioned fear-generalization is not enhanced in GAD. Results are discussed with special attention to the possible effects of comorbidity on fear learning abnormalities.
Boswell, James F.; Llera, Sandra J.; Newman, Michelle G.; Castonguay, Louis G.
In this paper we present a case of failure in an integrative treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) combining cognitive-behavioral therapy, an empirically supported treatment for GAD, and interpersonal-emotional processing therapy. The client of focus dropped out of treatment after the 8th session. Based on our analysis of this case, we…
Huppert, Jonathan D.; Alley, Amie C.
Major psychological theories of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have begun to suggest that worry may function as avoidance of emotions. On the basis of these findings, a number of researchers have begun to develop techniques to address emotional deficits in GAD. However, most techniques suggested to date have been from outside a…
Pittig, Andre; Arch, Joanna J; Lam, Chi W R; Craske, Michelle G
It remains unclear if diminished high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) can be found across anxiety disorders. HF-HRV and heart rate (HR) were examined in panic (PD), generalized anxiety (GAD), social anxiety (SAD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) relative to healthy controls at baseline and during anxiety stressors. All disorders evidenced diminished baseline HF-HRV relative to controls. Baseline HRV differences were maintained throughout relaxation. For hyperventilation, PD and GAD demonstrated greater HR than controls. Psychotropic medication did not account for HF-HRV differences except in OCD. Age and sex evidenced multiple main effects. Findings suggest that low baseline HF-HRV represents a common index for inhibitory deficits across PD, GAD, and SAD, which is consistent with the notion of autonomic inflexibility in anxiety disorders. Elevated HR responses to hyperventilation, however, are specific to PD and GAD.
Hijazi, J; Bedat-Millet, A-L; Hannequin, D
Autoantibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), originally identified in the stiff-person syndrome, are also associated with rare cases of therapy-resistant epilepsy and sporadic cerebellar ataxia. The association of GAD antibodies with these three syndromes and other auto-immune diseases, particularly type 1 diabetes mellitus, argues for their auto-immune origin. Anti-GAD antibodies inhibit GABAergic circuits inducing a neuronal hyper-excitability that seems to be responsible for these three syndromes. However, an additional mechanism seems to be involved in the degenerative component of the cerebellar ataxia associated with anti-GAD antibodies. A more accurate diagnosis and the study of neuropathological cases are necessary to document the different mechanisms implicated in these neurological disorders.
Ollendick, Thomas H; Jarrett, Matthew A; White, Bradley A; White, Susan W; Grills, Amie E
Examine whether children with a primary diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) differ from children with a secondary diagnosis of GAD on clinician, parent, teacher, and youth-report measures. Based on consensus diagnoses, 64 youth referred to a general outpatient assessment clinic were categorized as having either a primary or secondary diagnosis of GAD. A semi-structured diagnostic interview was used to guide diagnostic decisions and assign primary versus secondary diagnostic status. We predicted that youth with a primary GAD diagnosis would present with greater anxiety symptomatology and symptom impairment on a variety of anxiety-related measures than youth with a secondary GAD diagnosis. Contrary to our hypotheses, no differences were found between those with primary versus secondary GAD diagnoses on measures of symptom severity and clinical impairment, comorbid diagnoses, or youth and teacher-report measures. Our findings have potential implications for the current practice of requiring primary anxiety diagnostic status as an inclusion criterion in clinical research and treatment outcome studies. Assuming our findings are confirmed in larger samples and with other anxiety disorders, future clinical trials and basic psychopathology research might not exclude youth based on absence of a particular anxiety disorder as the primary disorder but rather include individuals for whom that anxiety disorder is secondary as well.
Kendall, Philip C.; Compton, Scott N.; Walkup, John T.; Birmaher, Boris; Albano, Anne Marie; Sherrill, Joel; Ginsburg, Golda; Rynn, Moira; McCracken, James; Gosch, Elizabeth; Keeton, Courtney; Bergman, Lindsey; Sakolsky, Dara; Suveg, Cindy; Iyengar, Satish; March, John; Piacentini, John
Reports the characteristics of a large, representative sample of treatment seeking anxious youth (N =488). Participants, aged 7–17 years (mean 10.7 yrs), had a principal DSM-IV diagnosis of separation anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or social phobia (SP). Although youth with a co-primary diagnosis for which a different disorder-specific treatment would be indicated (e.g., major depressive disorder, substance abuse) were not included, there were few other exclusion criteria. Participants and their parent/guardian underwent an extensive baseline assessment using a broad array of measures capturing diagnostic status, anxiety symptoms and severity, and areas of functional impairment. Means and standard deviations of the measures of psychopathology and data on diagnostic status are provided. The sample had moderate to severe anxiety disorder and was highly comorbid, with 55.3% of participants meeting criteria for at least one non-targeted DSM-IV disorder. Anxiety disorders in youth often do not present as a single/focused disorder: such disorders in youth overlap in symptoms and are highly comorbid among themselves. PMID:20206470
Abramowitz, Jonathan S.; Olatunji, Bunmi O.; Deacon, Brett J.
Although clinical observations suggest that health-related anxiety is present, to some extent, in a number of anxiety disorders, this relationship has not been examined empirically. The present study therefore utilized the Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI) to elucidate the structure of such symptoms among patients with anxiety disorders and to…
Schneier, Franklin R; Belzer, Kenneth D; Kishon, Ronit; Amsel, Lawrence; Simpson, Helen Blair
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy are each efficacious for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It is not known, however, whether GAD partial and nonresponders to one treatment modality benefit from the other. This study explored acceptability and efficacy of escitalopram for persons with persistent GAD symptoms after a course of CBT. Twenty-four patients with GAD were treated with CBT and 15 completed at least 12 sessions. Eight completers continued to have clinically significant symptoms and were offered 12 weeks of treatment with escitalopram, and 7 started escitalopram treatment. During CBT, patients evidenced significant improvement in GAD, depression, and quality of life. During escitalopram treatment, patients evidenced trends toward further improvement in GAD, depression, and quality of life. Escitalopram phase completers had initially reported low-to-moderate preferences for medication treatment. Escitalopram may benefit GAD patients with clinically significant symptoms after CBT and merits further study under controlled conditions in a larger sample.
Wells, Adrian; King, Paul
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) responds only modestly to existing cognitive-behavioural treatments. This study investigated a new treatment based on an empirically supported metacognitive model [Wells, (1995). Metacognition and worry: A cognitive model of generalized anxiety disorder. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23, 301-320; Wells, (1997). Cognitive therapy of anxiety disorders: A practice manual and conceptual guide. Chichester, UK: Wiley]. Ten consecutive patients fulfilling DSM-IV criteria for GAD were assessed before and after metacognitive therapy, and at 6, and 12-month follow-up. Patients were significantly improved at post-treatment, with large improvements in worry, anxiety, and depression (ESs ranging from 1.04-2.78). In all but one case these were lasting changes. Recovery rates were 87.5% at post treatment and 75% at 6 and 12 months. The treatment appears promising and controlled evaluation is clearly indicated.
Mennin, Douglas S; Heimberg, Richard G; Turk, Cynthia L; Fresco, David M
Three studies provide preliminary support for an emotion dysregulation model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). In study 1, students with GAD reported heightened intensity of emotions, poorer understanding of emotions, greater negative reactivity to emotional experience, and less ability to self-soothe after negative emotions than controls. A composite emotion regulation score significantly predicted the presence of GAD, after controlling for worry, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. In study 2, these findings were largely replicated with a clinical sample. In study 3, students with GAD, but not controls, displayed greater increases in self-reported physiological symptoms after listening to emotion-inducing music than after neutral mood induction. Further, GAD participants had more difficulty managing their emotional reactions. Implications for GAD and psychopathology in general are discussed.
Champagne, Anne-Laure; Brunault, Paul; Huguet, Grégoire; Suzanne, Isabelle; Senon, Jean-Louis; Body, Gilles; Rusch, Emmanuel; Magnin, Guillaume; Voyer, Mélanie; Réveillère, Christian; Camus, Vincent
This study aimed to determine whether personality disorders were associated with later Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in breast cancer patients. This longitudinal and multicentric study included 120 French non-metastatic breast cancer patients. After cancer diagnosis (T1) and 7 months after diagnosis (T3), we assessed MDD and GAD (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview 5.0). We assessed personality disorders 3 months after diagnosis (VKP). We used multiple logistic regression analysis to determine what were the factors associated with GAD and MDD at T3. At T3, prevalence rate was 10.8% for MDD and 19.2% for GAD. GAD at T3 was significantly and independently associated with GAD at T1 and with existence of a personality disorder, no matter the cluster type. MDD at T3 was significantly and independently associated with MDD at T1 and with the existence of a cluster C personality disorder. Initial cancer severity and the type of treatment used were not associated with GAD or MDD at T3. Breast cancer patients with personality disorders are at higher risk for GAD and MDD at the end of treatment. Patients with GAD should be screened for personality disorders. Specific interventions for patients with personality disorders could prevent psychiatric disorders.
Durham, Tory A; Elhai, Jon D; Fine, Thomas H; Tamburrino, Marijo; Cohen, Gregory; Shirley, Edwin; Chan, Philip K; Liberzon, Israel; Galea, Sandro; Calabrese, Joseph R
The present study investigated symptom relations between two highly comorbid disorders--posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)--by exploring their underlying dimensions. Based on theory and prior empirical research it was expected that the dysphoria factor of PTSD would be more highly related to GAD. As part of a longitudinal project of mental health among Ohio National Guard Soldiers, 1266 subjects were administered the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale (GAD-7). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were conducted to examine two models of PTSD and to determine which PTSD factors were more related to the GAD factor. The results indicate that the GAD factor was significantly more highly correlated with PTSD's dysphoria factor than with all other PTSD factors, including PTSD's reexperiencing factor, avoidance factor, and hyperarousal factor. Results indicate GAD was not significantly more highly correlated with numbing than most other factors of PTSD. The results are consistent with prior research. Implications of the results are discussed in regards to PTSD in DSM-5, comorbidity and diagnostic specificity.
Introduction Life events, recognized as stressors, due to their unanticipated nature, can cause psychiatric illness. Also there is some line of continuity between neurotic illness and antecedent personality traits. Aim To study generalized anxiety disorder in relation to Life events and personality dimensions. Materials and Methods Certain hypotheses were tested in two groups, namely 30 Generalized Anxiety Disorder patients (GAD) and 30 matched controls, by utilizing assessment tools. These include: GAD patients experience more undesirable Life events than normal; GAD patients with high level of anxiety experience more undesirable Life events; Neuroticism is related to the severity of anxiety; Extroverts experience more anxiety; Level of anxiety in females is higher; GAD patients with higher education level experience more anxiety, while those with lower education level somatize more. The group differences were examined using Chi-Square test, Student t-test and ANOVA. Pearson’s Correlation Co-efficient was used to find the correlation between anxiety and the undesirable Life events. The level of statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Results GAD patients experienced significantly more undesirable Life events than the matched controls. Patients with high level of anxiety experienced more undesirable Life events, with the coefficient of correlation being quite high. A significant association between Neuroticism scale and GAD was observed. Conclusion The study suggests a possible causative link between the undesirable Life events and GAD; and a significant association between Neuroticism dimension and the anxiety disorder. Role of environmental stressors and personality traits in treatment outcome among GAD patients awaits further, prospective studies. PMID:27190927
Liao, Mei; Yang, Fan; Zhang, Yan; He, Zhong; Song, Ming; Jiang, Tianzi; Li, Zexuan; Lu, Shaojia; Wu, Weiwei; Su, Linyan; Li, Lingjiang
Background Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that usually begins in adolescence. Childhood maltreatment is highly prevalent and increases the possibility for developing a variety of mental disorders including anxiety disorders. An earlier age at onset of GAD is significantly related to maltreatment in childhood. Exploring the underpinnings of the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adolescent onset GAD would be helpful in identifying the potential risk markers of this condition. Methods Twenty-six adolescents with GAD and 25 healthy controls participated in this study. A childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ) was introduced to assess childhood maltreatment. All subjects underwent high-resolution structural magnetic resonance scans. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to investigate gray matter alterations. Results Significantly larger gray matter volumes of the right putamen were observed in GAD patients compared to healthy controls. In addition, a significant diagnosis-by-maltreatment interaction effect for the left thalamic gray matter volume was revealed, as shown by larger volumes of the left thalamic gray matter in GAD patients with childhood maltreatment compared with GAD patients without childhood maltreatment as well as with healthy controls with/without childhood maltreatment. A significant positive association between childhood maltreatment and left thalamic gray matter volume was only seen in GAD patients. Conclusions These findings revealed an increased volume in the subcortical regions in adolescent GAD, and the alterations in the left thalamus might be involved in the association between childhood maltreatment and the occurrence of GAD. PMID:23951265
Gordon, Dina; Heimberg, Richard G
The reliability of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) features has been shown to be moderate, based on research utilizing the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV (ADIS-IV), a semi-structured diagnostic interview. This may be a function of the criteria for the diagnosis of GAD, which have undergone much revision since its first inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The reliability and validity of disorder feature ratings were examined in a diverse sample of patients who presented for assessment and treatment of excessive worry, generalized anxiety, or tension at an anxiety specialty clinic and who met criteria for a principal diagnosis of GAD (N=129). Internal consistency of the ratings of excessiveness of worry, uncontrollability of worry, and the associated symptom cluster was moderate to low and varied by disorder feature. Inter-rater reliability for all features of GAD and severity of the disorder varied between good and poor. Additional findings showed that the GAD features, as measured using the ADIS-IV module, have modest to strong convergent validity, varying by feature, and poor discriminant validity when tested against measures of social anxiety. Potential reasons for rater disagreement are discussed. Results are also considered in terms of how they may inform the evolving criteria for GAD in DSM-V.
Dear, Blake F; Titov, Nickolai; Sunderland, Matthew; McMillan, Dean; Anderson, Tracy; Lorian, Carolyn; Robinson, Emma
The Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) is a widely used measure of the worry characteristic of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). The 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) is a new brief screening tool for GAD, which is being increasingly used in research and clinical practice. The present study sought to provide comparison data on the relative psychometric properties of these two scales. The data of 195 adults who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria for GAD and who participated in two randomised treatment controlled trials were used. Factor analyses, internal consistency, correlational analyses, responsiveness to change, and agreement between the scales based on indentified clinical cutoffs were conducted. Factor analyses confirmed a one-factor structure for the GAD-7 and a three-factor structure involving two method factors for the PSWQ. Both the GAD-7 and the PSWQ demonstrated adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha: .79-.91 and .86-.91, respectively), and moderate correlations (r = .51-.71) were observed between the scales across the treatment time points. The scales exhibited small correlations with the Sheehan Disability Scale at pretreatment (GAD-7 r = .38; PSWQ r = .26), but moderate correlations at posttreatment and follow-up (r = .59-.79). Agreement between the scales was limited using various clinical cutoffs identified within the literature. Both measures were sensitive to change, although the GAD-7 appeared to be more sensitive and may, therefore, confer some advantages in clinical work.
Frala, Jamie L.; Leen-Feldner, Ellen W.; Blumenthal, Heidemarie; Barreto, Carolina C.
This study examined the associations among perceived control over anxiety-related events, worry, and both symptoms and diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The sample was comprised of 140 adolescents (60 girls) between the ages of 10 and 17 years (M[subscript age] = 14.6 years; SD = 2.25) recruited from the general community. Findings…
Kamrowska, Anna; Gmitrowicz, Agnieszka
Risk of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) within life is estimated at 2.6-5.1%. Amongst etiological factors that affect the development of the disorder are: biological and psychological problems, including cognitive models. There are known several cognitive models: metacognitive, Borkovec'c model and the model developed in Quebec. Key cognitive contents that occur with generalized anxiety disorder are focused on two aspects: metacognitive beliefs and intolerance of uncertainty. A primary purpose of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is the modification of dysfunctional beliefs about worry. Cognitive behavioural therapy is effective in reducing anxiety, makes it easier to operate in the professional sphere and improves the quality of life.
Alfano, Candice; Beidel, Deborah; Wong, Nina
A common assumption is that all youth with anxiety disorders (AD) experience impaired peer relationships relative to healthy control children. Social impairments have been identified among youth with certain AD (e.g., social anxiety disorder; SAD), but less is known about the peer relationships of children with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). We therefore compared the interpersonal functioning of youth with GAD, SAD, and controls (6 to 13 years). Despite having relatively fewer friends overall, children with GAD did not differ from controls in terms of the likelihood of having a best friend, participation in groups/clubs, and parent ratings of social competence. In comparison, youth with SAD were less socially competent, had fewer friends and difficulty making new friends compared to controls. Findings suggest that peer difficulties are not a universal feature of all childhood AD and highlight a need to better understand the social experiences and functioning of children with GAD. PMID:21739298
Roemer, Lizabeth; Orsillo, Susan M.
Research suggests that experiential avoidance may play an important role in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; see Roemer, L., & Orsillo, S.M. (2002). "Expanding our conceptualization of and treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: Integrating mindfulness/acceptance-based approaches with existing cognitive-behavioral models." "Clinical…
Bitsika, Vicki; Sharpley, Christopher F.; Mailli, Rebecca
The influence of gender, age, Psychological resilience and family interaction factors upon generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) was investigated in 75 non-autism spectrum disorder (NASD) siblings who had a brother or sister with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). GAD and MDD were much more prevalent than in…
Gorini, Alessandra; Pallavicini, Federica; Algeri, Davide; Repetto, Claudia; Gaggioli, Andrea; Riva, Giuseppe
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder characterized by 6 months of "excessive anxiety and worry" about a variety of events and situations. Anxiety and worry are often accompanied by additional symptoms like restlessness, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and disturbed sleep. GAD is usually treated with medications and/or psychotherapy. In particular, the two most promising treatments seem to be cognitive therapy and applied relaxation. In this study we integrated these approaches through the use of a biofeedback enhanced virtual reality (VR) system used both for relaxation and controlled exposure. Moreover, this experience is strengthened by the use of a mobile phone that allows patients to perform the virtual experience even in an outpatient setting. This paper describe the results of a controlled trial (NCT00602212) involving 20 GAD patients randomly assigned to the following groups: (1) the VR and Mobile group (VRMB) including biofeedback; (2) the VR and Mobile group (VRM) without biofeedback; (3) the waiting list (WL) group. The clinical data underlined that (a) VR can be used also in the treatment of GAD; (b) in a VR treatment, patients take advantage of a mobile device that delivers in an outpatient setting guided experiences, similar to the one experienced in VR.
Calleo, Jessica S; Bush, Amber L; Cully, Jeffrey A; Wilson, Nancy L; Kraus-Schuman, Cynthia; Rhoades, Howard M; Novy, Diane M; Masozera, Nicholas; Williams, Susan; Horsfield, Matthew; Kunik, Mark E; Stanley, Melinda A
To increase the sustainability of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in primary care for late-life anxiety, we incorporated nonexpert counselors, options for telephone meetings, and integration with primary care clinicians. This open trial examines the feasibility, satisfaction, and clinical outcomes of CBT delivered by experienced and nonexperienced counselors for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Clinical outcomes assessed worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale), and anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory and Structured Interview Guide for Hamilton Anxiety Scale). After 3 months of treatment, Cohen's d effect sizes for worry and anxiety ranged from 0.48 to 0.78. Patients treated by experienced and nonexperienced counselors had similar reductions in worry and anxiety, although treatment outcomes were more improved on the Beck Anxiety Inventory for experienced therapists. Preliminary results suggest that adapted CBT can effectively reduce worry. The piloted modifications can provide acceptable and feasible evidence-based care.
Gao, Keming; Sheehan, David V; Calabrese, Joseph R
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic, highly prevalent and debilitating disorder that commonly co-occurrs with mood disorders. Current available agents for GAD are limited either by their slow onsets of actions, unsatisfactory anxiolytic effects or potential for abuse/dependence. Atypical antipsychotics have been studied as alternatives. Olanzapine, risperidone and quetiapine immediate release have been explored in the treatment of refractory GAD and risperidone in bipolar anxiety with randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, but the results were not consistent. By contrast, quetiapine extended release (quetiapine-XR) 150 mg/day monotherapy yielded consistent anxiolytic effects across three studies that were superior to placebo and as effective as paroxetine 20 mg/day and escitalopram 10 mg/day but with an earlier onset of action. In a 52-week treatment of GAD, quetiapine-XR was superior to placebo in the prevention of anxiety relapses. Overall, atypical antipsychotics were relatively well tolerated, with common side effects of somnolence and sedation. However, in contrast to antidepressants and benzodiazepines, the long-term risk and benefit of atypical antipsychotics in the treatment of GAD is yet to be determined.
Robinson, Christina M.; Klenck, Suzanne C.; Norton, Peter J.
The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire-IV (GAD-Q-IV) is a self-report diagnostic measure of generalized anxiety disorder. Previous studies have established the psychometric properties of the GAD-Q-IV revealing excellent diagnostic specificity and sensitivity as well as good test-retest reliability and convergent and discriminant validity (Newman et al., 2002). Recent analyses with other measures of anxiety symptoms have revealed differences across racial or national groups. Given that the GAD-Q-IV was tested primarily on Caucasian (78%) participants, the purpose of this study was to demonstrate the psychometric properties of the GAD-Q-IV across four racial groups: African American, Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian. A student sample of 585 undergraduate psychology students completed the GAD-Q-IV as well as other measures of anxiety symptoms. A clinical replication sample was obtained from 188 clinical participants who completed the GAD-Q-IV as part of a larger psychotherapy study. Results indicated excellent and very similar factor structures in the student sample, and similar psychometric properties across both samples across the racial groups. Implications for the use of the GAD-Q-IV across racial groups are discussed. PMID:20830629
Crits-Christoph, Paul; Newman, Michelle G; Rickels, Karl; Gallop, Robert; Gibbons, Mary Beth Connolly; Hamilton, Jessica L; Ring-Kurtz, Sarah; Pastva, Amy M
The current study assessed efficacy of combined cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and venlafaxine XR compared to venlafaxine XR alone in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) within settings where medication is typically offered as the treatment for this disorder. Patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed GAD who were recently enrolled in a long-term venlafaxine XR study were randomly offered (n=77), or not offered (n=40), the option of adding 12 sessions of CBT. Of those offered CBT, 33% (n=26) accepted and attended at least one treatment session. There were no differences between the combined treatment group and the medication only group on primary or secondary efficacy measures in any of the sample comparisons. Many patients who present in medical/psychopharmacology settings seeking treatment for GAD decline the opportunity to receive adjunctive treatment. Of those that receive CBT, there appears to be no additional benefit of combined treatment compared to venlafaxine XR alone.
Lundervold, Duane A.; Ament, Patrick A.; Holt, Peter S.; Hunt, Lauren S.
Acceptability ratings of medication or Behavioral Relaxation Training (BRT), for general anxiety disorder (GAD) co-occurring with Parkinson's Disease (PD) were obtained from younger ("n" = 79) and older ("n" = 54) adults. Participants read a case description of an older adult with PD and comorbid GAD followed by a description…
Nadorff, Michael R.; Porter, Ben; Rhoades, Howard M.; Greisinger, Anthony J.; Kunik, Mark E.; Stanley, Melinda A.
This study investigated the relation between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and frequency of bad dreams in older adults. A secondary analysis from a randomized clinical trial comparing cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety (CBT) to enhanced usual care (EUC), it assessed bad dream frequency at baseline, post-treatment (3 months), and 6, 9, 12 and 15 months. Of 227 participants (mean age = 67.4), 134 met GAD diagnostic criteria (CBT = 70, EUC = 64), with the remaining 93 serving as a comparison group. Patients with GAD had significantly more bad dreams than those without, and bad dream frequency was significantly associated with depression, anxiety, worry, and poor quality of life. CBT for anxiety significantly reduced bad dream frequency at post-treatment and throughout follow-up compared to EUC. PMID:23470116
Nadorff, Michael R; Porter, Ben; Rhoades, Howard M; Greisinger, Anthony J; Kunik, Mark E; Stanley, Melinda A
This study investigated the relation between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and frequency of bad dreams in older adults. A secondary analysis from a randomized clinical trial comparing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety to enhanced usual care (EUC) assessed bad dream frequency at baseline, post treatment (3 months), and at 6, 9, 12, and 15 months. Of 227 participants (mean age = 67.4), 134 met GAD diagnostic criteria (CBT = 70, EUC = 64), with the remaining 93 serving as a comparison group. Patients with GAD had significantly more bad dreams than those without, and bad dream frequency was significantly associated with depression, anxiety, worry, and poor quality of life. CBT for anxiety significantly reduced bad dream frequency at post treatment and throughout follow up compared to EUC.
Background To review the prevalence and impact of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) below the diagnostic threshold and explore its treatment needs in times of scarce healthcare resources. Methods A systematic literature search was conducted until January 2013 using PUBMED/MEDLINE, PSYCINFO, EMBASE and reference lists to identify epidemiological studies of subthreshold GAD, i.e. GAD symptoms that do not reach the current thresholds of DSM-III-R, DSM-IV or ICD-10. Quality of all included studies was assessed and median prevalences of subthreshold GAD were calculated for different subpopulations. Results Inclusion criteria led to 15 high-quality and 3 low-quality epidemiological studies with a total of 48,214 participants being reviewed. Whilst GAD proved to be a common mental health disorder, the prevalence for subthreshold GAD was twice that for the full syndrome. Subthreshold GAD is typically persistent, causing considerably more suffering and impairment in psychosocial and work functioning, benzodiazepine and primary health care use, than in non-anxious individuals. Subthreshold GAD can also increase the risk of onset and worsen the course of a range of comorbid mental health, pain and somatic disorders; further increasing costs. Results are robust against bias due to low study quality. Conclusions Subthreshold GAD is a common, recurrent and impairing disease with verifiable morbidity that claims significant healthcare resources. As such, it should receive additional research and clinical attention. PMID:24886240
Elkins, R Meredith; Carpenter, Aubrey L; Pincus, Donna B; Comer, Jonathan S
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly co-occur in childhood. Inattention symptoms can be hallmarks of both conditions, however assessment tools of inattention may not effectively distinguish between the two conditions. The present study used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses to examine the high-end specificity of the Attention Problems Scale of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for detecting comorbid ADHD among youth with GAD (N=46). Results support the utility of the Attention Problems Scale for accurately distinguishing between the two groups (AUC=.84, SE=.06). Specifically, a cut score of 63 achieved the most favorable values across diagnostic utility indices; 74% of GAD youth with ADHD scored above this cutoff and 91% of GAD youth without ADHD scored below this cutoff. Findings provide support for the use of the CBCL Attention Problems Scale to supplement diagnostic interviews and identify inattention associated with ADHD among GAD youth.
MacDonald, Emma M; Pawluk, Elizabeth J; Koerner, Naomi; Goodwill, Alasdair M
People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) engage in maladaptive coping strategies to reduce or avoid distress. Evidence suggests that uncertainty and negative emotions are triggers for distress in people with GAD; however, there may also be other triggers. Recent conceptualizations have highlighted six types of experiences that people report having difficulty withstanding: uncertainty, negative emotions, ambiguity, frustration, physical discomfort, and the perceived consequences of anxious arousal. The present study examined the extent to which individuals high in symptoms of GAD are intolerant of these distress triggers, compared to individuals high in depressive symptoms, and individuals who are low in GAD and depressive symptoms. Undergraduate students (N = 217) completed self-report measures of GAD symptoms, depressive symptoms, and distress intolerance. Individuals high in GAD symptoms reported greater intolerance of all of the distress triggers compared to people low in symptoms of GAD and depression. Individuals high in GAD symptoms reported greater intolerance of physical discomfort compared to those high in depressive symptoms. Furthermore, intolerance of physical discomfort was the best unique correlate of GAD status, suggesting that it may be specific to GAD (versus depression). These findings support continued investigation of the transdiagnosticity and specificity of distress intolerance.
Locke, Amy B; Kirst, Nell; Shultz, Cameron G
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) are among the most common mental disorders in the United States, and they can negatively impact a patient's quality of life and disrupt important activities of daily living. Evidence suggests that the rates of missed diagnoses and misdiagnosis of GAD and PD are high, with symptoms often ascribed to physical causes. Diagnosing GAD and PD requires a broad differential and caution to identify confounding variables and comorbid conditions. Screening and monitoring tools can be used to help make the diagnosis and monitor response to therapy. The GAD-7 and the Severity Measure for Panic Disorder are free diagnostic tools. Successful outcomes may require a combination of treatment modalities tailored to the individual patient. Treatment often includes medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and/or psychotherapy, both of which are highly effective. Among psychotherapeutic treatments, cognitive behavior therapy has been studied widely and has an extensive evidence base. Benzodiazepines are effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, but their use is limited by risk of abuse and adverse effect profiles. Physical activity can reduce symptoms of GAD and PD. A number of complementary and alternative treatments are often used; however, evidence is limited for most. Several common botanicals and supplements can potentiate serotonin syndrome when used in combination with antidepressants. Medication should be continued for 12 months before tapering to prevent relapse.
Baune, Bernhard T
Quetiapine has demonstrated efficacy in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and in the treatment of specific symptom clusters such as agitation and sleep problems in mood disorders. In this review, randomized controlled studies demonstrating efficacy, safety and tolerability of quetiapine in major depressive disorder (MDD) and general anxiety disorder (GAD) are evaluated. The results show that quetiapine monotherapy and quetiapine augmentation of antidepressant treatment in MDD and GAD are efficacious for short-term and maintenance treatment at a dose range between 50 and 300 mg/day. Quetiapine appears to have a specific but overall mild side-effect profile, though, some adverse effects such as sedation and somnolence may lead to withdrawal from treatment in some patients. Overall, the available evidence suggests that there is a significant role for quetiapine in the treatment of MDD and GAD.
Baldwin, David S; Ajel, Khalil; Masdrakis, Vasilios G; Nowak, Magda; Rafiq, Rizwan
A previous review summarized what was then known about the potential role of pregabalin in the treatment of patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): this review provides an update on its pharmacological properties and presumed mechanism of action, the liability for abuse, and efficacy and tolerability in patients with GAD. Pregabalin has a similar molecular structure to the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) but its mechanism of action does not appear to be mediated through effects on GABA. Instead, its anxiolytic effects may arise through high-affinity binding to the alpha-2-delta sub-unit of the P/Q type voltage-gated calcium channel in “over-excited” presynaptic neurons, thereby reducing the release of excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate. The findings of randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses together indicate that pregabalin is efficacious in both acute treatment and relapse prevention in GAD, with some evidence of an early onset of effect, and broad efficacy in reducing the severity of psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety. It also has efficacy as an augmenting agent after non-response to antidepressant treatment in GAD. Continuing vigilance is needed in assessing its potential abuse liability but the tolerability profile of pregabalin may confer some advantages over other pharmacological treatments in the short term for treatment in patients with GAD. PMID:23836974
Seguí, J; Salvador, L; Canet, J; Márquez, M; Ortíz, M; García, L
History od separation anxiety was investigated in several psychiatryc disorders and in 150 patients with panic disorder following DSM III-R criteria. Separation anxiety was reported by 15.3% of patients with panic disorder, 3.3% of the healthy control group, 13.3% of patients with major depression, 16.7% with dystymia, 13.3% with generalized anxiety and 33.3% with social phobia (p < 0.001). Separation anxiety is thus considered a common predisposing factor of anxiety and depressive disorders. Panic disorder patients with a history of separation anxiety had an earlier age at panic onset and greater comorbidity with social phobia and agoraphobia.
Langer, David A.; Wood, Jeffrey J.; Bergman, R. Lindsey; Piacentini, John C.
The present study examines the construct validity of separation anxiety disorder (SAD), social phobia (SoP), panic disorder (PD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a clinical sample of children. Participants were 174 children, 6 to 17 years old (94 boys) who had undergone a diagnostic evaluation at a university hospital based clinic.…
Alfano, Candice A.
Despite the approach of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (5th ed.), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) of childhood continues to face questions as to whether it should be considered a distinct clinical disorder. A potentially critical issue embedded in this debate involves the role of functional impairment which has yet…
Ramsawh, Holly J; Bomyea, Jessica; Stein, Murray B; Cissell, Shadha H; Lang, Ariel J
Despite the ubiquity of sleep complaints among individuals with anxiety disorders, few prior studies have examined whether sleep quality improves during anxiety treatment. The current study examined pre- to posttreatment sleep quality improvement during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for panic disorder (PD; n = 26) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; n = 24). Among sleep quality indices, only global sleep quality and sleep latency improved significantly (but modestly) during CBT. Sleep quality improvement was greater for treatment responders, but did not vary by diagnosis. Additionally, poor baseline sleep quality was independently associated with worse anxiety treatment outcome, as measured by higher intolerance of uncertainty. Additional intervention targeting sleep prior to or during CBT for anxiety may be beneficial for poor sleepers.
Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Wichmann, Susann; Stalder, Tobias; Hilbert, Kevin; Muehlhan, Markus; Lueken, Ulrike; Beesdo-Baum, Katja
Studies investigating cortisol secretion in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have reported heterogeneous findings. Further, current knowledge on the specificity of endocrine changes for GAD and/or comorbid major depression (MD) is limited. Hence, the current study investigated long-term integrated cortisol secretion, as indexed by hair cortisol concentrations (HCC), and experimentally-induced cortisol stress reactivity in relation to GAD, MD and their comorbidity. Carefully characterized groups of 17 GAD patients including 8 with comorbid MD (GAD-MD), 12 MD patients and 21 healthy controls were recruited. Alongside psychometric data, HCC (N = 43) and salivary cortisol stress reactivity in response to the Trier Social Stress Test (N = 45) were determined. Findings revealed that MD patients exhibited lower HCC compared to controls and GAD patients, with no differences between the latter two groups. Interestingly, when the GAD group was separated into two groups based on MD comorbidity, lower HCC in MD patients were found compared to controls and GAD-noMD patients, but did not show differences when compared to GAD-MD patients. No HCC differences were seen between GAD-MD or GAD-noMD patients and healthy controls. No TSST group differences emerged. Our findings suggest MD to be related to long-term attenuation in cortisol secretion. While no group differences emerged between patients with GAD, neither with nor without MD, and controls, the current results provide tentative evidence that MD determines long-term endocrine changes, with pure GAD showing a distinct pattern. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings in larger samples of pure and comorbid groups.
Davidson, Jonathan R
Many patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) do not receive adequate treatment. Several classes of drugs, including benzodiazepines, azapirones, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, antihistamines, alpha(2)delta Ca++ channel modulators, and atypical antipsychotics are consistently beneficial in patients with GAD. Cognitive therapy is also effective as a first-line treatment. When individualizing treatment, drug dose ranges and side effect profiles need to be considered, as well as the patient's comorbid conditions. Doses may need to be reduced for elderly or medically ill patients or those taking other medications. Doses may need to be increased for refractory cases. Common comorbid conditions with GAD include depression, alcohol or drug abuse, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. In patients with significant depression, an antidepressant is more likely to succeed than a benzodiazepine. Generalized anxiety disorder is a chronic illness that requires long-term treatment. Remission is attainable but can take several months, and stopping medication increases the risk of relapse within the first year of initiating treatment.
Vasiliadis, Helen-Maria; Buka, Stephen L.; Martin, Laurie T.; Gilman, Stephen E.
Background Anxiety disorders are thought to have their origins in early childhood, though they have not yet been studied as a potential outcome of impaired fetal growth, which has been implicated in the developmental etiologies of many psychopathologies. This study investigated the association between indicators of fetal growth and the development of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Methods Indicators of fetal growth, including birth weight (BW) and ponderal index (PI), were assessed among 682 offspring of participants in the Providence, RI, site of the Collaborative Perinatal Project. Participants were interviewed as adults, and their lifetime histories of GAD were assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. We used Cox regression to estimate the association between fetal growth indicators and the development of GAD. Results The lifetime risk of GAD differed between infants in the highest category of BW and PI and all others. Newborns with birth weights below 3.5 kg (hazard ratio, HR: 2.38; CI=1.25, 4.55), in the lowest four BW z-score quintiles (HR=2.49; CI=1.14, 5.45) or a PI in the lowest four quintiles (HR=2.33; CI=1.04, 5.00) had higher lifetime risks of GAD. Conclusion In contrast to prior studies on psychiatric outcomes in relation to fetal growth, there was not a linear relationship between birth weight and GAD. While these results generally support the hypothesis that a healthy nutritional fetal uptake, as indicated by BW and PI, is associated with better lifetime mental health, further work is needed to characterize the nature of the association between fetal growth and subsequent psychopathology. PMID:20734359
Hilbert, Kevin; Pine, Daniel S.; Muehlhan, Markus; Lueken, Ulrike; Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Beesdo-Baum, Katja
Increasing efforts have been made to investigate the underlying pathophysiology of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but only limited consistent information is available on gray (GM) and white matter (WM) volume changes in affected adults. Additionally, few studies employed dimensional approaches to GAD pathology. This study compares structural brain imaging data from n = 19 GAD subjects and n = 24 healthy comparison (HC) subjects, all medication-free and matched on age, sex and education. Separate categorical and dimensional models were employed using voxel-based morphometry for GM and WM. Significantly higher GM volumes were found in GAD subjects mainly in basal ganglia structures and less consistently in the superior temporal pole. For WM, GAD subjects showed Significantly lower volumes in the dlPFC. Largely consistent findings in dimensional and categorical models point toward these structural alterations being reliable and of importance for GAD. While lower volume in the dlPFC could reflect impaired emotional processing and control over worry in GAD, basal ganglia alterations may be linked to disturbed gain and loss anticipation as implicated in previous functional GAD studies. As perturbations in anticipation processes are central to GAD, these areas may warrant greater attention in future studies. PMID:26490569
Hilbert, Kevin; Pine, Daniel S; Muehlhan, Markus; Lueken, Ulrike; Steudte-Schmiedgen, Susann; Beesdo-Baum, Katja
Increasing efforts have been made to investigate the underlying pathophysiology of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but only limited consistent information is available on gray (GM) and white matter (WM) volume changes in affected adults. Additionally, few studies employed dimensional approaches to GAD pathology. This study compares structural brain imaging data from n=19 GAD subjects and n=24 healthy comparison (HC) subjects, all medication-free and matched on age, sex and education. Separate categorical and dimensional models were employed using voxel-based morphometry for GM and WM. Significantly higher GM volumes were found in GAD subjects mainly in basal ganglia structures and less consistently in the superior temporal pole. For WM, GAD subjects showed significantly lower volumes in the dlPFC. Largely consistent findings in dimensional and categorical models point toward these structural alterations being reliable and of importance for GAD. While lower volume in the dlPFC could reflect impaired emotional processing and control over worry in GAD, basal ganglia alterations may be linked to disturbed gain and loss anticipation as implicated in previous functional GAD studies. As perturbations in anticipation processes are central to GAD, these areas may warrant greater attention in future studies.
Keeton, Courtney Pierce; Kolos, Amie C; Walkup, John T
Pediatric generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry about a variety of events and is accompanied by physical symptoms such as headaches, tension, restlessness, gastrointestinal distress, and heart palpitations. Symptoms impose marked distress and interfere with social, emotional, and educational functioning. GAD occurs in over 10% of children and adolescents, has an average age of onset of 8.5 years, and is more often reported in girls. Common co-occurring conditions include separation anxiety disorder and social phobia. Assessment involves a multi-informant, multi-method approach involving the child, parents, and school teachers. A clinical interview should be conducted to assess for the three primary ways anxiety presents: behaviors, thoughts, and somatic symptoms. Several semi-structured diagnostic interviews are available, and the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule is increasingly used. Rating scales completed by the patient, caregivers, and teachers provide useful information for diagnosis and symptom monitoring. Several scales are available to assess patients for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition) GAD diagnosis; however, instruments generally cannot distinguish children with GAD from children with similar anxiety disorders. Both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have demonstrated efficacy for the treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders including GAD. Evidence suggests that the combination of CBT plus sertraline offers additional benefit compared with either treatment alone. With pharmacotherapy, systematic tracking of treatment-emergent adverse events such as headaches, stomach aches, behavioral activation, worsening symptoms, and emerging suicidal thoughts is important. Recommended starting doses are fluvoxamine 25 mg/day, fluoxetine 10 mg/day, and sertraline 25 mg/day, though lower starting doses are possible. Dosing
Mogg, K; Millar, N; Bradley, B P
The study investigated biases in selective attention to emotional face stimuli in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depressive disorder, using a modified probe detection task. There were 4 face types: threatening, sad, happy, and neutral. Measures of attentional bias included (a) the direction and latency of the initial eye movement in response to the faces and (b) manual reaction time (RT) to probes replacing the face stimuli 1,000 ms after their onset. Results showed that individuals with GAD (without depressive disorder) were more likely to look first toward threat faces rather than neutral faces compared with normal controls and those with depressive disorder. They also shifted their gaze more quickly toward threat faces, rather than away from them, relative to the other two groups. There were no significant findings from the manual RT data. Implications of the results for recent theories of clinical anxiety and depression are discussed.
Brawman-Mintzer, Olga; Monnier, Jeannine; Wolitzky, Kate B; Falsetti, Sherry A
The authors investigated the types and rates of trauma exposure and differences in symptom endorsement in a clinical sample of patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Fifty-eight patients with GAD were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) and Trauma Assessment for Adults. In order to explore the relationship between specific traumatic event(s) and clinical presentation, the presence of somatic symptoms associated with GAD, including muscle tension, autonomic hyperactivity, and vigilance/scanning clusters (using DSM-III-R criteria), were examined. Patients with a history of sexual assault before 18 years (25.9%) endorsed fewer somatic symptoms, specifically fewer motor tension and autonomic GAD symptoms, than patients with other types of trauma. These findings indicate that early exposure to serious trauma, specifically childhood sexual assault, may lead to a different clinical presentation in GAD patients.
Morris, Bethany H; Rottenberg, Jonathan
Stress-induced anhedonia is associated with depression vulnerability (Bogdan & Pizzagalli, 2006). We investigated stress-induced deficits in reward learning in a depression-vulnerable group with analogue generalized anxiety disorder (GAD, n = 34), and never-depressed healthy controls (n = 41). Utilizing a computerized signal detection task, reward learning was assessed under stressor and neutral conditions. Controls displayed intact reward learning in the neutral condition, and the expected stress-induced blunting. The GAD group as a whole also showed intact reward learning in the neutral condition. When GAD subjects were analyzed as a function of prior depression history, never-depressed GAD subjects showed heightened reward learning in the stressor condition. Better reward learning under stress among GAD subjects predicted lower depression symptoms 1 month later. Robust reward learning under stress may indicate depression resistance among anxious individuals.
Mikami, Katsunaka; Jorge, Ricardo E; Moser, David J; Arndt, Stephan; Jang, Mijin; Solodkin, Ana; Small, Steven L; Fonzetti, Pasquale; Hegel, Mark T; Robinson, Robert G
This study examined the efficacy of antidepressant treatment for preventing the onset of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) among patients with recent stroke. Of 799 patients assessed, 176 were randomized, and 149 patients without evidence of GAD at the initial visit were included in this double-blind treatment with escitalopram (N=47) or placebo (N=49) or non-blinded problem-solving therapy (PST; 12 total sessions; N=53). Participants given placebo over 12 months were 4.95 times more likely to develop GAD than patients given escitalopram and 4.00 times more likely to develop GAD than patients given PST. Although these results should be considered preliminary, the authors found that both escitalopram and PST were effective in preventing new onset of post-stroke GAD.
Reeves, Jonathan W; Fisher, Aaron J; Newman, Michelle G; Granger, Douglas A
Physiologic investigations of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have skewed toward assessment of the autonomic nervous system, largely neglecting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis variables. Although these systems coordinate-suggesting a degree of symmetry-to promote adaptive functioning, most studies opt to monitor either one system or the other. Using a ratio of salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) over salivary cortisol, the present study examined symmetry between the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and HPA axis in individuals with GAD (n = 71) and healthy controls (n = 37). Compared to healthy controls, individuals with GAD exhibited greater baseline ratios of sAA/cortisol and smaller ratios of sAA/cortisol following a mental arithmetic challenge. We propose that the present study provides evidence for SNS-HPA asymmetry in GAD. Further, these results suggest that increased SNS suppression in GAD may be partially mediated by cortisol activity.
... Substance abuse, such as drinking too much alcohol Suicide or suicide attempts Other anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, substance ... disorder symptoms, your doctor may: Perform a physical exam to determine if there may be any physical ...
Allgulander, Christer; Bandelow, Borwin; Hollander, Eric; Montgomery, Stuart A; Nutt, David J; Okasha, Ahmed; Pollack, Mark H; Stein, Dan J; Swinson, Richard P
What are the current recommendations for the long-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)? GAD is a common disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 4% to 7% in the general population. GAD is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry or anxiety about a number of events or activities that the individual experiences on more days than not over a 6-month period. Onset of GAD symptoms usually occurs during an individual's early twenties; however, high rates of GAD have also been seen in children and adolescents. The clinical course of GAD is often chronic, with 40% of patients reporting illness lasting >5 years. GAD is associated with pronounced functional impairment, resulting in decreased vocational function and reduced quality of life. Patients with GAD tend to be high users of outpatient medical care, which contributes significantly to healthcare costs. Currently, benzodiazepines and buspirone are prescribed frequently to treat GAD. Although both show efficacy in acute treatment trials, few long-term studies have been performed. Benzodiazepines are not recommended for long-term treatment of GAD, due to associated development of tolerance, psychomotor impairment, cognitive and memory changes, physical dependence, and a withdrawal reaction on discontinuation. The antidepressant venlafaxine extended-release (XR) has received approval for the treatment of GAD in the United States and many other countries. Venlafaxine XR has demonstrated efficacy over placebo in two randomized treatment trials of 6 months' duration as well as in other acute trials. Paroxetine is the first of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to receive US approval for the treatment of GAD. Paroxetine demonstrated superiority to placebo in short-term trials, and investigations into the use of other SSRIs are ongoing. This suggests that other SSRIs, and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, are likely to be effective in the treatment of GAD. Of the
Lecrubier, Yves; Dolberg, Ornah T; Andersen, Henning F; Weiller, Emmauelle
The purpose of this article is to examine the similarities and differences between patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) versus Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) versus MDD with anxiety symptoms. Data were analysed from all randomized double-blind clinical studies with escitalopram that measured symptoms using either Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) or Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). The contribution of each item of a scale to the total score was calculated before and after treatment, in remitters. Most single items of the HAMA contribute nearly equally in patients with GAD. In patients with MDD, four symptoms (i.e. anxious mood, tension, insomnia and concentration) contribute to most to the HAMA total score. In patients with GAD, three symptoms (tension, sleep and concentration) contribute two-thirds of the MADRS total score. In contrast, most MADRS items contribute equally to the total score in patients with MDD. After treatment to remission, the profile of residual symptoms MDD or GAD was similar to the symptom profile before treatment. Anxiety symptoms are very common in patients with MDD or GAD, and the symptomatic pattern is similar. In both disorders, the symptomatic pattern of residual symptoms is similar to the pattern of symptoms before treatment.
Rodebaugh, Thomas L.; Holaway, Robert M.; Heimberg, Richard G.
Despite favorable psychometric properties, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire for the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (4th ed.) (GAD-Q-IV) does not have a known factor structure, which calls into question use of its original weighted scoring system (usually referred to as the dimensional score).…
Roy, Amy K.; Fudge, Julie L.; Kelly, Clare; Perry, Justin S. A.; Daniele, Teresa; Carlisi, Christina; Benson, Brenda; Castellanos, F. Xavier; Milham, Michael P.; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique
Objective: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) typically begins during adolescence and can persist into adulthood. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this disorder remain unclear. Recent evidence from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) studies in adults suggests disruptions in amygdala-based circuitry; the…
Siev, Jedidiah; Chambless, Dianne L.
The aim of this study was to address claims that among bona fide treatments no one is more efficacious than another by comparing the relative efficacy of cognitive therapy (CT) and relaxation therapy (RT) in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder without agoraphobia (PD). Two fixed-effects meta-analyses were…
Flint, A. J.
OBJECTIVE: To review the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and treatment of anxiety disorders in late life. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: Epidemiologic and comorbidity data are derived from well designed random-sample community surveys. There are virtually no controlled data specific to treatment of anxiety in the elderly. Guidelines for treating anxiety disorders in late life, therefore, must be extrapolated from results of randomized controlled trials conducted in younger patients. MAIN MESSAGE: Generalized anxiety disorder and agoraphobia account for most cases of anxiety disorder in late life. Late-onset generalized anxiety is usually associated with depressive illness and, in this situation, the primary pharmacologic treatment is antidepressant medication. Most elderly people with agoraphobia do not give a history of panic attacks; exposure therapy is the preferred treatment for agoraphobia without panic. CONCLUSIONS: Physicians need to make more use of antidepressant medication and behavioural therapy and less use of benzodiazepines in treating anxiety disorders in late life. PMID:10587775
Schubert, Jessica R; Coles, Meredith E; Heimberg, Richard G; Weiss, Barry D
Despite the high prevalence of and significant psychological burden caused by anxiety disorders, as few as 25% of individuals with these disorders seek treatment, and treatment seeking by African-Americans is particularly uncommon. This purpose of the current study was to gather information regarding the public's recommendations regarding help-seeking for several anxiety disorders and to compare Caucasian and African-American participants on these variables. A community sample of 577 US adults completed a telephone survey that included vignettes portraying individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia/social anxiety disorder (SP/SAD), panic disorder (PD), and for comparison, depression. The sample was ½ Caucasian and ½ African American. Respondents were significantly less likely to recommend help-seeking for SP/SAD and GAD (78.8% and 84.3%, respectively) than for depression (90.9%). In contrast, recommendations to seek help for panic disorder were common (93.6%) and similar to rates found for depression. The most common recommendations were to seek help from a primary care physician (PCP). African Americans were more likely to recommend help-seeking for GAD than Caucasians. Findings suggested that respondents believed individuals with anxiety disorders should seek treatment. Given that respondents often recommended consulting a PCP, we recommend educating PCPs about anxiety disorders and empirically-supported interventions.
Stein, Dan J; Fincham, Dylan; Seedat, Soraya; de Bodinat, Christian; Ahokas, Antti
Currently available symptom severity measures for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are not optimal. This study investigates the reliability and validity of a new measure for GAD. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale (DGSS), comprising 8 DSM-IV GAD symptoms assessed in terms of frequency and intensity, was used in a trial of agomelatine versus placebo for the treatment of GAD. Internal reliability, concurrent validity, responsiveness to change, most robust items, and factor structure were computed. The DGSS demonstrated good internal reliability, correlated significantly with the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and Clinical Global Impression severity scale, and demonstrated a clear change in response to agomelatine. The most robust DGSS items were derived, and an exploratory factor analysis yielded a 2-factor structure of the DGSS. The DGSS is potentially a useful scale for the assessment of GAD in clinical trials of this disorder.
Dobson, Eric T.; Strawn, Jeffrey R.
Background Randomized controlled trials consistently support the efficacy of antidepressants in treating youth with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), although integrated examinations of efficacy, safety, and tolerability of psychotropic medications in GAD specifically are rare. With this in mind, we sought to describe the efficacy, safety and tolerability of psychopharmacologic interventions in youth with GAD. Methods Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective trials of psychopharmacologic interventions in youth with GAD were identified through a PubMed/Medline (1966–2015) search. Both authors manually reviewed trials and, to evaluate comparative efficacy and tolerability across medications, numbers needed to treat (NNT) (based on Pediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (PARS) remission criteria (PARS ≤8 ), and number needed to harm (NNH) for selected treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were calculated. Finally, treatment-emergent suicidality and taper-emergent/post-study adverse events are reported descriptively. Results Five trials that involved 1,186 patients and evaluated four medications were reviewed and efficacy data were extracted with regard to dimensional measures of anxiety. SSRI/SNRIs demonstrated efficacy in the reduction of anxiety symptoms with NNTs ranging from 2.8 to 9.3. TEAEs varied considerably between studies but tended to be mild and generally did not lead to discontinuation. Conclusions Data from five trials of SSRI/SNRI in youth with GAD, many of whom had co-occurring separation and social anxiety disorders, suggest superiority to placebo and favorable tolerability profiles. PMID:26660158
Rosellini, Anthony J.; Brown, Timothy A.
The present study evaluated the latent structure of the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO FFI) and relations between the five-factor model (FFM) of personality and dimensions of "DSM-IV" anxiety and depressive disorders (panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder [GAD], obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia [SOC], major depressive disorder…
Celano, Christopher M; Daunis, Daniel J; Lokko, Hermioni N; Campbell, Kirsti A; Huffman, Jeff C
Anxiety and its associated disorders are common in patients with cardiovascular disease and may significantly influence cardiac health. Anxiety disorders are associated with the onset and progression of cardiac disease, and in many instances have been linked to adverse cardiovascular outcomes, including mortality. Both physiologic (autonomic dysfunction, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, changes in platelet aggregation) and health behavior mechanisms may help to explain the relationships between anxiety disorders and cardiovascular disease. Given the associations between anxiety disorders and poor cardiac health, the timely and accurate identification and treatment of these conditions is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions for the management of anxiety disorders are generally safe and effective. Further study is needed to determine whether interventions to treat anxiety disorders ultimately impact both psychiatric and cardiovascular health.
Zhang, Xiaobin; Norton, Joanna; Carrière, Isabelle; Ritchie, Karen; Chaudieu, Isabelle; Ryan, Joanne; Ancelin, Marie-Laure
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common chronic condition that is understudied compared to other psychiatric disorders. An altered adrenergic function has been reported in GAD, however direct evidence for genetic susceptibility is missing. This study evaluated the associations of gene variants in adrenergic receptors (ADRs) with GAD, with the involvement of stressful events. Data were obtained from 844 French community-dwelling elderly aged 65 or over. Anxiety disorders were assessed using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatry Interview, according to DSM-IV criteria. Eight single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) involved with adrenergic function were genotyped; adrenergic receptors alpha(1A) (ADRA1A), alpha(2A) (ADRA2A), and beta2 (ADRB2) and transcription factor TCF7L2. Questionnaires evaluated recent stressful life events as well as early environment during childhood and adolescence. Using multivariate logistic regression analyses four SNPs were significantly associated with GAD. A 4-fold modified risk was found with ADRA1A rs17426222 and rs573514, and ADRB2 rs1042713 which remained significant after Bonferroni correction. Certain variants may moderate the effect of adverse life events on the risk of GAD. Replication in larger samples is needed due to the small case number. This is the first study showing that ADR variants are susceptibility factors for GAD, further highlighting the critical role of the adrenergic nervous system in this disorder.
Zhang, Xiaobin; Norton, Joanna; Carrière, Isabelle; Ritchie, Karen; Chaudieu, Isabelle; Ryan, Joanne; Ancelin, Marie-Laure
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common chronic condition that is understudied compared to other psychiatric disorders. An altered adrenergic function has been reported in GAD, however direct evidence for genetic susceptibility is missing. This study evaluated the associations of gene variants in adrenergic receptors (ADRs) with GAD, with the involvement of stressful events. Data were obtained from 844 French community-dwelling elderly aged 65 or over. Anxiety disorders were assessed using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatry Interview, according to DSM-IV criteria. Eight single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) involved with adrenergic function were genotyped; adrenergic receptors alpha(1A) (ADRA1A), alpha(2A) (ADRA2A), and beta2 (ADRB2) and transcription factor TCF7L2. Questionnaires evaluated recent stressful life events as well as early environment during childhood and adolescence. Using multivariate logistic regression analyses four SNPs were significantly associated with GAD. A 4-fold modified risk was found with ADRA1A rs17426222 and rs573514, and ADRB2 rs1042713 which remained significant after Bonferroni correction. Certain variants may moderate the effect of adverse life events on the risk of GAD. Replication in larger samples is needed due to the small case number. This is the first study showing that ADR variants are susceptibility factors for GAD, further highlighting the critical role of the adrenergic nervous system in this disorder. PMID:28198454
Peretti, C S
Anxious subjects present attentional disorders that are manifest with an increased bias towards threatening contents stimuli. In tasks derived from the Stroop task (such as emotional Stroop, a variant of the classic Stroop task) congruence between anxious themes or manifestations and stimuli content induces information processing changes leading to a slowness of response speed. In this case, results are similar to those obtained in signal detection tasks either when information is visually or auditorily presented. In anxious subjects an inconscious activation provoked by anxiogenic words is observed. Because such activation is independent from the semantic content of the words, an emotional priming has been hypothesized. Berck formulated an hypervigilance theory according to which anxiety provokes a selective distractibility regarding non pertinent stimuli. Such attentional selectivity would be responsible of a cognitive vulnerability in anxious subjects. State but not trait anxiety induces working memory performances deficit. On the bases of Baddeley's working memory framework, Eysenck proposed that anxiety uses part of the limited attentional capacity, placing the subject in a dual task situation. In that, he has to cope with pertinent information and anxiety generated information. If anxiety leads to better performance in simple tasks by recruiting motivational capacities, in tasks with high information content, anxious subjects performances are impaired. Changes in the long-term memory do not seem to fit with the theoretical models based on cognitive impairment observed in patients suffering from depressive states. Anxious subjects presented a memory bias towards anxiogenic information in implicit memory tasks. But experimental data are still too searce to describe implicit performance of anxious subjects and more systematic studies are therefore needed.
Morgan, Jessica R; Sullivan, Marlysa; Masuda, Akihiko; Tully, Erin; Cohen, Lindsey L; Anderson, Page L
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a prevalent psychiatric disorder associated with substantial impairment and poor treatment response. Yoga influences processes that are linked to the maintenance of GAD including mindfulness, anxiety, and heart rate variability, but has yet to be evaluated among people with the disorder. The present study is a first step toward documenting the efficacy of yoga for reducing worry among people with GAD using a single-subject AB design case series and daily ratings of worry. Standardized self-report measures of worry, trait anxiety, experiential avoidance, mindfulness, and heart rate variability were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Three participants with primary GAD received eight twice-weekly Kripalu yoga sessions following a baseline data collection period. All participants showed systematic improvement in daily worry ratings on at least one index and all scores on self-reported measures of worry, anxiety, experiential avoidance, and mindfulness changed in the expected direction following yoga (with one or two exceptions). Participants also showed improved heart rate variability during a worry period from pre- to post-intervention. Yoga has the potential to improve the processes linked to GAD and should stimulate further research in this area.
Morgan, Jessica R; Sullivan, Marlysa; Masuda, Akihiko; Tully, Erin; Cohen, Lindsey L; Anderson, Page L
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a prevalent psychiatric disorder associated with substantial impairment and poor treatment response. Yoga influences processes that are linked to the maintenance of GAD including mindfulness, anxiety, and heart rate variability, but has yet to be evaluated among people with the disorder. The present study is a first step toward documenting the efficacy of yoga for reducing worry among people with GAD using a single-subject AB design case series and daily ratings of worry. Standardized self-report measures of worry, trait anxiety, experiential avoidance, mindfulness, and heart rate variability were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Three participants with primary GAD received eight twice-weekly Kripalu yoga sessions following a baseline data collection period. All participants showed systematic improvement in daily worry ratings on at least one index and all scores on self-reported measures of worry, anxiety, experiential avoidance, and mindfulness changed in the expected direction following yoga (with one or two exceptions). Participants also showed improved heart rate variability during a worry period from pre- to post-intervention. Yoga has the potential to improve the processes linked to GAD and should stimulate further research in this area.
Benatti, Beatrice; Camuri, Giulia; Dell'Osso, Bernardo; Cremaschi, Laura; Sembira, Ester; Palazzo, Carlotta; Oldani, Lucio; Dobrea, Cristina; Arici, Chiara; Primavera, Diego; Carpiniello, Bernardo; Castellano, Filippo; Carrà, Giuseppe; Clerici, Massimo; Baldwin, David S; Altamura, Alfredo Carlo
Anxiety disorders are common, comorbid, and disabling conditions, often underdiagnosed and under-treated, typically with an early onset, chronic course, and prolonged duration of untreated illness. The present study aimed to explore the influence of sociodemographic and clinical factors in relation to onset and latency to treatment in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A total of 157 patients with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnosis of PD (n=49), GAD (n=68), and OCD (n=40) were recruited, and epidemiological and clinical variables were collected through a specific questionnaire. Statistical analyses were carried out to compare variables across diagnostic groups. PD, GAD, and OCD patients showed a duration of untreated illness of 53.9±81.5, 77.47±95.76, and 90.6±112.1 months, respectively. Significant differences between groups were found with respect to age, age of first diagnosis, age of first treatment, family history of psychiatric illness, onset-related stressful events, benzodiazepine prescription as first treatment, antidepressant prescription as first treatment, and help-seeking (self-initiated vs. initiated by others). Patients with GAD, PD, and OCD showed significant differences in factors influencing onset and latency to treatment, which may, in turn, affect condition-related outcome and overall prognosis. Further studies with larger samples are warranted in the field.
Soto, José A; Dawson-Andoh, Nana A; BeLue, Rhonda
The present study examined the relationship between frequency of race based and non-race based discrimination experiences and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in a sample of 3570 African Americans, 1438 Afro Caribbeans, and 891 non-Hispanic Whites from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL). Because GAD and the experience of racial discrimination are both associated with symptoms of worry and tension, we expected race based discrimination to predict GAD prevalence for African Americans, but not other groups. We did not expect non-race based discrimination to predict GAD. Results showed that while more frequent experiences of non-race based discrimination predicted GAD for all groups, experiencing race based discrimination was associated with significantly higher odds of endorsing lifetime GAD for African Americans only. Results are interpreted in light of the different contexts that these three ethnic groups represent relative to their history within the United States as well as their present day circumstances.
Rapp, Amy; Dodds, Alice; Walkup, John T; Rynn, Moira
This article provides a brief review of the current available data concerning present treatment and potential new treatment advances for pediatric anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Disorder-specific treatment methods and innovations, particularly computer-assisted methods of delivery for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) will be reviewed. Additionally, the paper will discuss novel psychopharmacological compounds (e.g., D-cycloserine, riluzole, memantine, and anticonvulsant medications). Available evidence for the efficacy of novel medication strategies in adult studies and implications for their use in pediatrics will be discussed.
Brenes, Gretchen A; McCall, W Vaughn; Williamson, Jeff D; Stanley, Melinda A
This article describes the development of Biblio and Telephone Therapy or BTT, a cognitive-behavioral treatment program for late-life anxiety disorders. Although studies have examined bibliotherapy for the treatment of late-life depression, none have studied it as a format for treating late-life anxiety. The application of this treatment to 4 older adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and/or Panic Disorder (PD) is described and benefits, advantages and limitations are discussed.
Brenes, Gretchen A.; McCall, W. Vaughn; Williamson, Jeff D.; Stanley, Melinda A.
This article describes the development of Biblio and Telephone Therapy or BTT, a cognitive-behavioral treatment program for late-life anxiety disorders. Although studies have examined bibliotherapy for the treatment of late-life depression, none have studied it as a format for treating late-life anxiety. The application of this treatment to 4 older adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and/or Panic Disorder (PD) is described and benefits, advantages and limitations are discussed. PMID:20661315
Carpenter, Kimberly L H; Sprechmann, Pablo; Calderbank, Robert; Sapiro, Guillermo; Egger, Helen L
Early childhood anxiety disorders are common, impairing, and predictive of anxiety and mood disorders later in childhood. Epidemiological studies over the last decade find that the prevalence of impairing anxiety disorders in preschool children ranges from 0.3% to 6.5%. Yet, less than 15% of young children with an impairing anxiety disorder receive a mental health evaluation or treatment. One possible reason for the low rate of care for anxious preschoolers is the lack of affordable, timely, reliable and valid tools for identifying young children with clinically significant anxiety. Diagnostic interviews assessing psychopathology in young children require intensive training, take hours to administer and code, and are not available for use outside of research settings. The Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA) is a reliable and valid structured diagnostic parent-report interview for assessing psychopathology, including anxiety disorders, in 2 to 5 year old children. In this paper, we apply machine-learning tools to already collected PAPA data from two large community studies to identify sub-sets of PAPA items that could be developed into an efficient, reliable, and valid screening tool to assess a young child's risk for an anxiety disorder. Using machine learning, we were able to decrease by an order of magnitude the number of items needed to identify a child who is at risk for an anxiety disorder with an accuracy of over 96% for both generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and separation anxiety disorder (SAD). Additionally, rather than considering GAD or SAD as discrete/binary entities, we present a continuous risk score representing the child's risk of meeting criteria for GAD or SAD. Identification of a short question-set that assesses risk for an anxiety disorder could be a first step toward development and validation of a relatively short screening tool feasible for use in pediatric clinics and daycare/preschool settings.
Calderbank, Robert; Sapiro, Guillermo; Egger, Helen L.
Early childhood anxiety disorders are common, impairing, and predictive of anxiety and mood disorders later in childhood. Epidemiological studies over the last decade find that the prevalence of impairing anxiety disorders in preschool children ranges from 0.3% to 6.5%. Yet, less than 15% of young children with an impairing anxiety disorder receive a mental health evaluation or treatment. One possible reason for the low rate of care for anxious preschoolers is the lack of affordable, timely, reliable and valid tools for identifying young children with clinically significant anxiety. Diagnostic interviews assessing psychopathology in young children require intensive training, take hours to administer and code, and are not available for use outside of research settings. The Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA) is a reliable and valid structured diagnostic parent-report interview for assessing psychopathology, including anxiety disorders, in 2 to 5 year old children. In this paper, we apply machine-learning tools to already collected PAPA data from two large community studies to identify sub-sets of PAPA items that could be developed into an efficient, reliable, and valid screening tool to assess a young child’s risk for an anxiety disorder. Using machine learning, we were able to decrease by an order of magnitude the number of items needed to identify a child who is at risk for an anxiety disorder with an accuracy of over 96% for both generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and separation anxiety disorder (SAD). Additionally, rather than considering GAD or SAD as discrete/binary entities, we present a continuous risk score representing the child’s risk of meeting criteria for GAD or SAD. Identification of a short question-set that assesses risk for an anxiety disorder could be a first step toward development and validation of a relatively short screening tool feasible for use in pediatric clinics and daycare/preschool settings. PMID:27880812
Park, Jong-Il; Kim, Gwang-Won; Jeong, Gwang-Woo; Chung, Gyung Ho; Yang, Jong-Chul
Few studies have assessed the neural mechanisms of the effects of emotion on cognition in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients. In this functional MRI (fMRI), we investigated the effects of emotional interference on working memory (WM) maintenance in GAD patients. Fifteen patients with GAD participated in this study. Event-related fMRI data were obtained while the participants performed a WM task (face recognition) with neutral and anxiety-provoking distracters. The GAD patients showed impaired performance in WM task during emotional distracters and showed greater activation on brain regions such as DLPFC, VLPFC, amygdala, hippocampus which are responsible for the active maintenance of goal relevant information in WM and emotional processing. Although our results are not conclusive, our finding cautiously suggests the cognitive-affective interaction in GAD patients which shown interfering effect of emotional distracters on WM maintenance.
Rapgay, Lobsang; Bystritsky, Alexander; Dafter, Roger E; Spearman, Michelle
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) severely impacts social functioning, distress levels, and utilization of medical care compared with that of other major psychiatric disorders. Neither pharmacological nor psychotherapy interventions have adequately controlled cardinal symptoms of GAD: pervasive excessive anxiety and uncontrollable worry. Research has established cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as the most effective psychotherapy for controlling GAD; however, outcomes remain at only 50% reduction, with high relapse rates. Mindfulness has been integrated with CBT to treat people suffering from numerous psychiatric disorders, with mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) being the most researched. Preliminary evidence supports MBSR's potential for controlling GAD symptoms and key researchers suggest mindfulness practices possess key elements for treating GAD. Classical mindfulness (CM) differs significantly from MBSR and possesses unique potentials for directly targeting process and state GAD symptoms inadequately treated by CBT. This article introduces the theory and practice of CM, its differences from MBSR, and a critical review of MBSR and CBT treatments for GAD. CM strategies designed to complement CBT targeting cardinal GAD symptoms are outlined with a case study illustrating its use.
Hoge, Elizabeth A.; Bui, Eric; Marques, Luana; Metcalf, Christina A.; Morris, Laura K.; Robinaugh, Donald J.; Worthington, John J.; Pollack, Mark H.; Simon, Naomi M.
Objective Mindfulness meditation has met increasing interest as a therapeutic strategy for anxiety disorders, but prior studies have been limited by methodological concerns, including a lack of an active comparison group. This is the first randomized, controlled trial comparing the manualized Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program with an active control for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a disorder characterized by chronic worry and physiological hyperarousal symptoms. Method Ninety-three individuals with DSM-IV-diagnosed GAD were randomized to an 8-week group intervention with MBSR or to an attention control, Stress Management Education (SME) between 2009 and 2011. Anxiety symptoms were measured with the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A, primary outcome measure), the Clinical Global Impression of Severity and Improvement (CGI-S and CGI-I), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Stress reactivity was assessed by comparing anxiety and distress during pre- and post-treatment Trier Social Stress Tests (TSST). Results A modified intent-to-treat analysis including participants who completed at least one session of MBSR (N=48) or SME (N=41) showed that both interventions led to significant reductions in HAM-A scores at endpoint, but did not significantly differ. MBSR, however, was associated with a significantly greater reduction in anxiety as measured by the CGI-S, the CGI-I, and the BAI (all Ps<0.05). MBSR was also associated with greater reductions than SME in anxiety and distress ratings in response to the TSST stress challenge (P<0.05), and a greater increase in positive self-statements (P=0.004). Conclusions These results suggest that MBSR may have a beneficial effect on anxiety symptoms in GAD, and may also improve stress reactivity and coping as measured in a laboratory stress challenge. PMID:23541163
Marganska, Anna; Gallagher, Michelle; Miranda, Regina
Differences in attachment style have been linked to both emotion regulation and psychological functioning, but the emotion regulatory mechanism through which attachment style might impact symptoms of depression and anxiety is unclear. The present study examined the explanatory role of emotion dysregulation in the relation between adult attachment style and symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a sample of 284 adults. Secure attachment was associated with lower depression and GAD symptoms and lower emotion dysregulation, whereas insecure attachment styles were generally associated with higher depression and GAD scores and higher emotion dysregulation. Perceived inability to generate effective emotion regulation strategies mediated the relation between insecure attachment and both depression and GAD symptoms. Nonacceptance of negative emotions and inability to control impulsive behaviors emerged as additional mediators of the relation between insecure attachment styles and GAD symptoms. The differential contribution of attachment style and emotion regulation to the prediction of depression and GAD symptoms may reflect differences in vulnerability to depression and GAD.
Henning, Eric R; Turk, Cynthia L; Mennin, Douglas S; Fresco, David M; Heimberg, Richard G
Once considered to be a disorder associated with minimal impairment, the link between generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and impairment across a broad constellation of domains is now well established. However, less is known about how comorbidity affects these relationships or how GAD impacts one's perceived life satisfaction or quality of life. To investigate these questions, data from 52 treatment-seeking individuals with GAD (33 with comorbid Axis I diagnoses) were compared to data from 55 nonanxious controls. Individuals with GAD reported more impairment at work and in their social functioning than they did with home and family responsibilities. They also reported lower quality of life than nonanxious controls, particularly in regard to self-esteem, goals and values, money, work, play, learning, creativity, friends, and relatives. Trait worry was positively correlated with impairment and inversely related to life satisfaction within the clinical sample. Individuals with GAD, with and without comorbid Axis I diagnoses, showed few differences on measures of impairment (differing only on impairment in social functioning). However, individuals with GAD and comorbid disorders perceived their lives as less satisfying than did individuals with GAD without comorbid diagnoses.
Strawn, Jeffrey R; Geracioti, Thomas D
A constellation of pharmacologic treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have been developed over the past five decades, although each has a number of potential drawbacks in clinical practice. This review addresses one potentially new pharmacologic treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, the gamma-aminobutyric acid analogue pregabalin. We review the mechanism of action, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of pregabalin as well as the results of 5 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of pregabalin in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Based entirely on data from these industry-sponsored (Pfizer), multi-site clinical trials in patients with GAD, pregabalin appears to be generally well tolerated and has rapid onset of action (approximately 1 week), comparable efficacy to benzodiazepines and lower discontinuation rates compared with other pharmacologic treatments. Thus in GAD, a disorder that is often suboptimally responsive to traditional psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic interventions - secondary to poor efficacy, tolerability, and/or side-effects - pregabalin may have a primary role in GAD patients, especially in those with certain psychiatric comorbidities or individuals who are on multi-drug regimens for medical comorbidities.
Coelho, Helen F; Murray, Lynne; Royal-Lawson, Melanie; Cooper, Peter J
Previous research has implicated high levels of antenatal anxiety as a predictor of postnatal depression, but there is a paucity of evidence on the relationship between the various forms of anxiety and postnatal depression. A longitudinal study of 246 mothers (56 with antenatal generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), 68 with antenatal generalised social phobia, 28 with both disorders in the antenatal period, and 94 with no antenatal GAD or social phobia) allowed us to explore whether antenatal social phobia and GAD predict high Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) scores (probable depression >12) at 10-14 days, 10-12 weeks, 10 months, 14 months, and 24 months postnatally. We found that, after accounting for the presence of other antenatal anxiety disorders, antenatal depression, maternal age at child's birth, socio-economic status and ethnicity in the models, antenatal GAD independently predicted depression at all time points after delivery. A less robust relationship was found for antenatal social phobia, which predicted postnatal depression at only 10 months after birth. One possibility consistent with our findings is that there may be differences in the timing of postnatal depression with different forms of antenatal anxiety disorders.
Tempesta, D; Mazza, M; Serroni, N; Moschetta, F S; Di Giannantonio, M; Ferrara, M; De Berardis, D
The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological functioning and the effect of antidepressant drug intake on cognitive performance in a group of relatively young generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients. Forty patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of GAD and 31 healthy subjects participated in the study (Control group, CON). None of the selected subjects had comorbid depression. GAD subjects were divided into two different subgroups: 18 were taking antidepressants [GAD-pharmacotherapy (GAD-p group)] and 22 were treatment-naïve (GAD group). Each group was administered with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to assess attention, memory and executive functions. Performance on executive and non-verbal memory tasks of both GAD groups was largely worse than the CON group. However, these deficits seem to be more marked in patients taking antidepressants, especially in the domains of attention, non-verbal memory and executive functions. The present study indicates that GAD is associated with cognitive impairments among young adults. However, the observed association of neuropsychological deficits and the use of pharmacotherapy suggest a possible effect of antidepressant treatment on attention, executive functioning and non-verbal memory.
Sevy, S; Papadimitriou, G N; Surmont, D W; Goldman, S; Mendlewicz, J
Plasma norepinephrine (NE), free 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenethylene glycol (MHPG), and binding of tritiated yohimbine to platelet membranes were measured in 14 patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), who were matched for age and sex with 14 patients with unipolar major depressive disorder (MDD) and 14 normal subjects. Plasma NE and MHPG levels were increased and the number of alpha2-adrenoreceptors (Bmax) was decreased in GAD patients compared with MDD and normal subjects. No differences were found between MDD patients and normal subjects for plasma NE, MHPG, and alpha2-adrenoreceptor binding. Plasma NE and MHPG were significantly correlated in MDD patients and tended toward a significant positive correlation in GAD patients. Plasma MHPG and affinity of binding platelet alpha2-adrenoreceptors (Kd) were significantly correlated in normal subjects. Thus, noradrenergic activity seems to be increased in patients with GAD, but not in patients with MDD. In GAD patients, higher levels of catecholamines may lead to a down-regulation of presynaptic alpha2-adrenoreceptors.
Combs, Heidi; Markman, Jesse
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric condition presenting to primary care practitioners. Yet they can be easily overlooked or misdiagnosed. Patients that struggle with anxiety disorders are more likely to seek treatment from primary care providers than mental health specialists. Given the costs in terms of debilitation and associated financial burden, and increased risk of suicide, the identification and successful treatment of anxiety is imperative. By means of clinical acumen and the use of screening tools, the provider can develop expertise in recognition and effective treatment of anxiety disorders.
Charriau, Violaine; Elyakoubi, M'hammed; Millet, Bruno; Drapier, Dominique; Robin, Didier; Moirand, Romain
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a frequent disabling disorder that often occurs with alcohol dependence. However comorbidity between substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders is often under-diagnosed. This study tried to evaluate an under-recognition of GAD by clinicians in alcoholic inpatients. Two groups of alcohol-dependent inpatients, hospitalized in the same non-academic psychiatric hospital in France, were included. The first group (Group 1) (n = 205) was included retrospectively within all patients hospitalized for alcohol dependence from may to November 2007. A record review was performed to determine the number of GAD (and other psychiatric disorders) diagnosis which was reported on these files by the clinicians. The second group (Group 2) (n = 199) was included prospectively from May to November 2008. GAD diagnosis was screened with the Worry and Anxiety Questionnaire and then confirmed with the Mini International Neurodiagnostic Interview. The two groups were similar in terms of social and demographic variables. GAD prevalence rate was significantly higher in Group 2 (30.7% with Confidence Interval [0.242; 0.371]) than in Group 1 (2.4% with Confidence Interval [0.003; 0.045]). This study confirms our hypothesis of an under-recognition of GAD by clinicians in alcohol dependant inpatients. It also confirms the high prevalence rate of comorbidity between alcohol dependence and GAD.
Beard, Courtney; Pagano, Maria E.; Maki, Kristin M.; Culpepper, Larry; Keller, Martin B.
Objective: To examine the extent of functional impairment associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a sample of primary care patients. Method: Participants (N = 128) were part of the Primary Care Anxiety Project (PCAP), a study conducted in 15 primary care practices in the northeastern United States. Patients were recruited in primary care practice waiting rooms from July 1997 to May 2001. Participants screening positive for anxiety symptoms received a diagnostic interview and an assessment of health-related functioning (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey [SF-36]). Effect sizes are reported for comparisons of SF-36 scores between patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of GAD and general population and medical sample norms. Results: Relative to general population normative SF-36 scores, primary care patients with GAD evidenced impaired functioning on both the physical and mental component summary scales. Patients with GAD also evidenced greater impairment in psychosocial functioning than that previously reported for samples of patients with major medical illnesses, including type II diabetes, hypertension, recent myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. This finding held true even when GAD patients with comorbid medical illnesses and comorbid Axis I mental disorders were excluded from the comparison. Conclusions: Primary care patients with GAD experience substantial impairment that cannot be accounted for by concurrent medical illnesses or comorbid Axis I mental disorders. PMID:21274362
Burns, Michelle Nicole; Siddique, Juned; Fokuo, J. Konadu; Mohr, David C.
Objective Anxiety is highly comorbid with depression, but little is known about the impact of anxiety disorders on the effectiveness of empirically supported psychotherapies for depression. We examined such outcomes for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and depression, with versus without comorbid anxiety disorders. Design Participants with MS (N = 102) received 16 weeks of telephone-administered psychotherapy for depression and were followed for one year post-treatment. Results Participants with comorbid anxiety disorders improved to a similar degree during treatment as those without anxiety disorders. Outcomes during follow-up were mixed, and thus we divided the anxiety diagnoses into distress and fear disorders. The distress disorder (GAD) was associated with elevated anxiety symptoms during and after treatment. In contrast, fear disorders (i.e., panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, specific phobia) were linked to depression, specifically during follow-up, across 3 different measures. Conclusions People with GAD receiving treatment for depression may benefit from additional services targeting anxiety more specifically, while those with comorbid fear disorders may benefit from services targeting maintenance of gains after treatment. PMID:20804269
Müller, Iris; Çalışkan, Gürsel; Stork, Oliver
The γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) synthetic enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)65 is critically involved in the activity-dependent regulation of GABAergic inhibition in the central nervous system. It is also required for the maturation of the GABAergic system during adolescence, a phase that is critical for the development of several neuropsychiatric diseases. Mice bearing a null mutation of the GAD65 gene develop hyperexcitability of the amygdala and hippocampus, and a phenotype of increased anxiety and pathological fear memory reminiscent of posttraumatic stress disorder. Although genetic association of GAD65 in human has not yet been reported, these findings are in line with observations of reduced GABAergic function in these brain regions of anxiety disorder patients. The particular value of GAD65(-/-) mice thus lies in modeling the effects of reduced GABAergic function in the mature nervous system. The expression of GAD65 and a second GAD isozyme, GAD67, are differentially regulated in response to stress in limbic brain areas suggesting that by controlling GABAergic inhibition these enzymes determine the vulnerability for the development of pathological anxiety and other stress-induced phenotypes. In fact, we could recently show that GAD65 haplodeficiency, which results in delayed postnatal increase of GABA levels, provides resilience to juvenile-stress-induced anxiety to GAD65(+/-) mice thus foiling the increased fear and anxiety in homozygous GAD65(-/-) mice.
Mueller, Erik M; Nguyen, Jennifer; Ray, William J; Borkovec, Thomas D
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and excessive worrying are characterized by a preoccupation with the future. Thus, enhanced identification of potential future punishments or omissions of reward may be related to the disorder. To test this hypothesis, n=47 students meeting GAD criteria according to the GADQ-IV (GAD analogues) or not (control participants) performed the Iowa Gambling Task, which has been related to sensitivity to future consequences. In order to disentangle sensitivity to future loss and sensitivity to high short-term loss magnitudes, which could also lead to enhanced Iowa Gambling Task performance, participants also performed a modified version of the task with reversed contingencies. In both versions, GAD analogues learned to avoid decisions with high probability of long-term loss significantly faster than control participants. Results, therefore, indicate that GAD is characterized by enhanced processing of potential future losses rather than sensitivity to large short-term loss.
Hayes-Skelton, Sarah A.; Usmani, Aisha; Lee, Jonathan K.; Roemer, Lizabeth; Orsillo, Susan M.
Applied relaxation (AR), which involves noticing early signs of anxiety and responding with a relaxation response, is an empirically supported treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, research on hypothesized mechanisms of AR (e.g., reduced muscle tension) has been mixed, making it likely that additional mechanisms are…
Kubarych, Thomas S.; Aggen, Steven H.; Hettema, John M.; Kendler, Kenneth S.; Neale, Michael C.
The authors investigated measurement properties of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition," generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) criteria in the National Comorbidity Survey and the Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders (VATSPSUD). The two studies used different widely used…
Metacognitive theory and therapy views the persistence of negative beliefs and thoughts as a result of metacognitions controlling cognition. This paper describes, with reference to the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social phobia, how metacognition contributes to cognitive stability and to change. Metacognitive therapy offers…
Hale, William W., III; Engels, Rutger; Meeus, Wim
This study examined the relationship between how adolescents perceived parenting behaviours and adolescent Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptom scores. The 1,106 junior high and high school students (12-19 years old; 49.6% males and 50.4% females) completed questionnaires regarding their perception of parenting behaviours and self-rated…
Erickson, Thane M.; Newman, Michelle G.
Persons with chronic worry and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) report maladaptive social cognitions, interpersonal behaviors, and emotional regulation. Because research has neither investigated these processes in actual social situations nor explored whether they take heterogeneous forms, the present study provides the first attempt to do so in…
Dugas, Michel J.; Savard, Pierre; Gaudet, Adrienne; Turcotte, Julie; Laugesen, Nina; Robichaud, Melisa; Francis, Kylie; Koerner, Naomi
Over the past decade, a number of well-controlled studies have supported the validity of a cognitive model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) that has four main components: intolerance of uncertainty, positive beliefs about worry, negative problem orientation, and cognitive avoidance. Although these studies have shown that the model components…
Newman, Michelle G.; Fisher, Aaron J.
Objective: This study examined (a) duration of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as a moderator of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) versus its components (cognitive therapy and self-control desensitization) and (b) increases in dynamic flexibility of anxious symptoms during the course of psychotherapy as a mediator of this moderation. Degree of…
Sugiura, Yoshinori; Sugiura, Tomoko
While research based on the emotion dysregulation model indicates a positive relationship between intense emotions and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms, emotion-focused intervention involves the use of techniques to enhance emotional experiences, based on the notion that GAD patients are engaging in avoidance strategies. To reveal the conditions under which intense emotions lead to reduced GAD symptoms, we designed a longitudinal study to monitor changes in GAD symptoms among students (N = 129) over 3 months. Our focus was on possible moderators of the effect of emotional intensity. Results indicated that when fear of emotions and negative appraisals about problem solving were low, negative emotional intensity reduced later GAD symptoms. Moreover, under the condition of high responsibility to continue thinking, emotional intensity tended to reduce later GAD symptoms. Results suggest that reduced fear of emotions and reduced negative appraisals about problem solving may enhance the use of emotional processing techniques (e.g., emotional exposure). The interaction between responsibility to continue thinking and emotional intensity requires further examination.
KÜÇÜKGÖNCÜ, Suat; BEŞTEPE, Emrem
Introduction The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence and the clinical features of night eating syndrome (NES) in patients with depression and anxiety disorders. Method The study was conducted at Bakırköy State Hospital for Mental Health and Neurological Disorders. Three-hundred out-patients who had major depression (MD), panic disorders (PD), general anxiety disorders (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) participated in the study. The semi-structured socio-demographic form, the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), Night Eating Questionnaire, and NES Evaluation Questionnaire were implemented. Results In our sample, the prevalence of the NES was 15.7% (n=47). NES frequency was significantly higher in the patients diagnosed with major depression (MD 22%, GAD 7.8%, OCD 12.5%, PD 14%). Smoking, presence of past suicide attempts, rates of antipsychotic drugs use, and average scores of body mass index (BMI) were significantly higher in the patients who had NES. In this sample, depression, BMI, and smoking were found to be determinants of NES. Conclusion This study shows that NES may be frequently observed in patients admitted to psychiatric clinics, especially in those with major depression. Evaluation of NES in psychiatric patients may help the treatment of the primary psychopathology and prevent the adverse effects, like weight gain, which may reduce the quality of life.
Amstadter, Ananda B.; Acierno, Ron; Richardson, Lisa; Kilpatrick, Dean G.; Gros, Daniel F.; Gaboury, Mario T.; Tran, Trinh Luong; Trung, Lam Tu; Tam, Nguyen Thanh; Tuan, Tran; Buoi, La Thi; Ha, Tran Thu; Thach, Tran Duc; Galea, Sandro
In 2006, typhoon Xangsane disrupted a multi-agency health needs study of 4,982 individuals in Vietnam. Following this disaster, 798 of the original participants were re-interviewed to determine prevalence and risk-factors associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), panic disorder (PD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) according to the DSM-IV (APA, 1994). Post-typhoon prevalences were: PTSD 2.6%; MDD 5.9%; PD 9.3%; GAD 2.2%. Of those meeting criteria for a disorder, 70% reported only one disorder, 15% had two, 14% had three, and 1% met criteria for all four disorders. Risk factors for post-typhoon psychopathology differed among disorders, but generally were related to high typhoon exposure, prior trauma exposure, and in contrast to Western populations, higher age, but not gender. PMID:19455707
Orsolini, Laura; Tomasetti, Carmine; Valchera, Alessandro; Iasevoli, Felice; Buonaguro, Elisabetta Filomena; Vellante, Federica; Fornaro, Michele; Fiengo, Annastasia; Mazza, Monica; Vecchiotti, Roberta; Perna, Giampaolo; de Bartolomeis, Andrea; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; De Berardis, Domenico
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a persistent condition characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, mainly comorbid with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Currently, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are recommended as first-line treatment of GAD. However, some patients may not respond to the treatment or discontinue due to adverse effects. Vortioxetine (VRX) is a multimodal antidepressant with a unique mechanism of action, by acting as 5-HT3A, 5-HT1D and 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, partial agonist at the 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors and inhibitor at the 5-HT transporter. Preliminary clinical trials showed contrasting findings in terms of improvement of the anxiety symptomatology and/or cognitive impairment. Here, we aim to systematically review the evidence currently available on the efficacy, safety and tolerability of VRX in the treatment of GAD. The generalizability of results on the efficacy of VRX in patients with anxiety symptomatology and GAD is limited due to few and contrasting RCTs so far available. Only two studies, of which one prevention relapse trial, reported a significant improvement in anxiety symptomatology compared to three with negative findings.
Zhubi, Adrian; Chen, Ying; Guidotti, Alessandro; Grayson, Dennis R
Both Reelin (RELN) and glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD1) have been implicated in the pathophysiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We have previously shown that both mRNAs are reduced in the cerebella (CB) of ASD subjects through a mechanism that involves increases in the amounts of MECP2 binding to the corresponding promoters. In the current study, we examined the expression of RELN, GAD1, GAD2, and several other mRNAs implicated in this disorder in the frontal cortices (FC) of ASD and CON subjects. We also focused on the role that epigenetic processes play in the regulation of these genes in ASD brain. Our goal is to better understand the molecular basis for the down-regulation of genes expressed in GABAergic neurons in ASD brains. We measured mRNA levels corresponding to selected GABAergic genes using qRT-PCR in RNA isolated from both ASD and CON groups. We determined the extent of binding of MECP2 and DNMT1 repressor proteins by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. The amount of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) present in the promoters of the target genes was quantified by methyl DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) and hydroxyl MeDIP (hMeDIP). We detected significant reductions in the mRNAs associated with RELN and GAD1 and significant increases in mRNAs encoding the Ten-eleven Translocation (TET) enzymes 1, 2, and 3. We also detected increased MECP2 and DNMT1 binding to the corresponding promoter regions of GAD1, RELN, and GAD2. Interestingly, there were decreased amounts of 5mC at both promoters and little change in 5hmC content in these same DNA fragments. Our data demonstrate that RELN, GAD1, and several other genes selectively expressed in GABAergic neurons, are down-regulated in post-mortem ASD FC. In addition, we observed increased DNMT1 and MECP2 binding at the corresponding promoters of these genes. The finding of increased MECP2 binding to the RELN, GAD1 and GAD2 promoters, with reduced amounts of 5mC and unchanged
Domschke, Katharina; Maron, Eduard
Presently available clinical genetic studies point to a considerable heritability of anxiety disorders (30-67%), with multiple vulnerability genes such as 5-HT1A, 5-HTT, MAO-A, COMT, CCK-B, ADORA2A, CRHR1, FKBP5, ACE, RGS2/7 and NPSR1 suggested by molecular genetic association studies. These genes have been shown to partially interact with each other as well as with environmental factors to shape the overall disease risk in a complex genetic model. Additionally, recent studies have pointed out the crucial role of epigenetic signatures such as methylation patterns in modifying environmental influences as well as in driving the functional impact of anxiety disorder risk genes. On a systems level, vulnerability genes of anxiety disorders seem to confer some of the disease risk via intermediate phenotypes like behavioral inhibition, anxiety sensitivity or several neurobiological traits such as increased startle reactivity or dysfunctional corticolimbic activity during emotional processing. Finally, first pharmaco- and psychotherapy-genetic studies provide evidence for certain risk genes to confer interindividual variability in response to a pharmacological or psychotherapeutic intervention in anxiety disorders. Genetic research in anxiety disorders will be discussed regarding its potential to foster innovative and individually tailored therapeutic approaches for patients with anxiety disorders.
... Disorder Specific Phobias Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Depression Bipolar Disorder Suicide and Prevention Stress Related Illnesses Myth-Conceptions Find ...
Lee, Siau Pheng; Sagayadevan, Vathsala; Vaingankar, Janhavi Ajit; Chong, Siow Ann; Subramaniam, Mythily
Previous nationally representative studies have reported prevalence of DSM-IV generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, subthreshold and threshold GAD expressions remain poorly understood. The current study examined the prevalence, correlates and co-morbidity of a broader diagnosis of GAD in Singapore. The Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) was an epidemiological survey conducted in the population (N=6616) aged 18 years and older. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) was used to establish mental disorder diagnoses. The lifetime prevalence for subthreshold GAD (2.1%) and threshold GAD (1.5%) in the current sample was found to be lower than in Western populations. Younger age group, Indian ethnicity, previously married, chronic physical conditions, and being unemployed were associated with higher odds of having more severe expression of generalized anxiety. The relatively lower prevalence rate of subthreshold GAD expression suggests possible cultural interferences in the reporting and manifestation of anxiety symptomatology. Despite the low prevalence, significant impacts on functioning and comorbidity among subthreshold generalized anxiety cases indicate the importance of early treatment to ensure a better prognosis.
Sharma, Rajiv Kumar; Sagar, Rajesh; Deepak, K. K.; Mehta, Manju; Balhara, Yatan Pal Singh
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Childhood and adolescent anxiety is generally associated with a varied somatic symptom pattern thought to reflect autonomic system activity. Few studies have examined the autonomic characteristics of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This omission is at odds with contemporary models of autonomic cardiovascular control. The current study aimed to find differences in autonomic functions between children with a diagnosis of childhood anxiety disorder and a control group using a case-control design. DESIGN AND SETTING: A cross sectional experimental study conducted in the years 2004-2005 in the psycho-physiology lab of a tertiary care multi-speciality teaching hospital. METHODS: Assessments were carried out using a semistructured interview, K-SADS (Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for Children and Adolescents); STAIC (State and Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children); CDRS (Childhood Depression Rating Scales); SCARED (Self-Report for Childhood Anxiety–Related Disorders). Autonomic reactivity was tested using the standard battery of tests. RESULTS: There were differences between 34 children and adolescents (age range, 8-18 years) with a diagnosis of childhood anxiety disorder and a control group of 30 age- and sex-matched subjects from a nearby school in autonomic activity and reactivity between individuals with anxiety disorder and non-anxious control subjects. Our finding is suggestive of autonomic rigidity or diminished physiologic flexibility in children with anxiety disorder CONCLUSIONS: The study is probably the first of its kind to look into the issue in detail using a detailed battery of the autonomic function tests, and the results are of help in better understanding the condition. The result of the present experiment supports differences in autonomic activity and reactivity between individuals with anxiety disorder and non-anxious control subjects. PMID:21623053
Sherman, Karen J.; Ludman, Evette J.; Cook, Andrea J.; Hawkes, Rene J.; Roy-Byrne, Peter P.; Bentley, Susan; Brooks, Marissa Z.; Cherkin, Daniel C.
Background Although massage is one of the most popular complementary and alternative medical (CAM) treatments for anxiety, its effectiveness has never been rigorously evaluated for a diagnosed anxiety disorder. This study evaluates the effectiveness of therapeutic massage for persons with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Methods Sixty-eight persons with GAD were randomized to therapeutic massage (n=23), thermotherapy (n=22) or relaxing room therapy (n=23) for a total of 10 sessions over 12 weeks. Mean reduction in anxiety was measured by the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS). Secondary outcomes included 50% reduction in HARS and symptom resolution of GAD, changes in depressive symptoms (PHQ-8), worry and GAD-related disability. We compared changes in these outcomes in the massage and control groups post- treatment and at 6 months using generalized estimating equation (GEE) regression. Results All groups had improved by the end of treatment (adjusted mean change scores for the HARS ranged from −10.0 to −13.0; p< 0.001) and maintained their gains at the 26 week follow-up. No differences were seen between groups (p=0.39). Symptom reduction and resolution of GAD, depressive symptoms, worry and disability showed similar patterns. Conclusions Massage was not superior to the control treatments, and all showed some clinically important improvements, likely due to some beneficial but generalized relaxation response. Because the relaxing room treatment is substantially less expensive than the other treatments, a similar treatment packaged in a clinically credible manner might be the most cost effective option for persons with GAD who want to try relaxation-oriented CAM therapies. PMID:20186971
Cuijpers, Pim; Gentili, Claudio; Banos, Rosa M; Garcia-Campayo, Javier; Botella, Cristina; Cristea, Ioana A
Although cognitive and behavioral therapies are effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, it is not clear what the relative effects of these treatments are. We conducted a meta-analysis of trials comparing cognitive and behavioral therapies with a control condition, in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder. We included 42 studies in which generic measures of anxiety were used (BAI, HAMA, STAI-State and Trait). Only the effects of treatment for panic disorder as measured on the BAI (13.33 points; 95% CI: 10.58-16.07) were significantly (p=0.001) larger than the effect sizes on GAD (6.06 points; 95% CI: 3.96-8.16) and SAD (5.92 points; 95% CI: 4.64-7.20). The effects remained significant after adjusting for baseline severity and other major characteristics of the trials. The results should be considered with caution because of the small number of studies in many subgroups and the high risk of bias in most studies.
MacNamara, Annmarie; Proudfit, Greg Hajcak
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may be characterized by emotion regulation deficits attributable to an imbalance between top-down (i.e., goal-driven) and bottom-up (i.e., stimulus-driven) attention. In prior work, these attentional processes were examined by presenting unpleasant and neutral pictures within a working memory paradigm. The late positive potential (LPP) measured attention toward task-irrelevant pictures. Results from this prior work showed that working memory load reduced the LPP across participants; however, this effect was attenuated for individuals with greater self-reported state anxiety, suggesting reduced top-down control. In the current study, the same paradigm was used with 106 medication-free female participants-71 with GAD and 35 without GAD. Unpleasant pictures elicited larger LPPs, and working memory load reduced the picture-elicited LPP. Compared with healthy controls, participants with GAD showed large LPPs to unpleasant pictures presented under high working memory load. Self-reported symptoms of anhedonic depression were related to a reduced effect of working memory load on the LPP elicited by neutral pictures. These results indicate that individuals with GAD show less flexible modulation of attention when confronted with unpleasant stimuli. Furthermore, among those with GAD, anhedonic depression may broaden attentional deficits to neutral distracters.
Mathew, Roy J.
Anxiety disorders are some of the commonest psychiatric disorders and anxiety commonly co-exists with other psychiatric conditions. Anxiety can also be a normal emotion. Thus, study of the neurobiological effects of anxiety is of considerable significance. In the normal brain, cerebral blood flow (CBF) and metabolism (CMR) serve as indices of brain function. CBF/CMR research is expected to provide new insight into alterations in brain function in anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders. Possible associations between stress I anxiety I panic and cerebral ischemia I stroke give additional significance to the effects of anxiety on CBF. With the advent of non-invasive techniques, study of CBF/CMR in anxiety disorders became easier. A large numbers of research reports are available on the effects of stress, anxiety and panic on CBF/CMR in normals and anxiety disorder patients. This article reviews the available human research on this topic. PMID:21743685
Fisher, Aaron J; Newman, Michelle G
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic and disabling disorder which is characterized by worrisome mentation about future outcomes. Because the evocative stimuli in GAD are largely internally derived, the feared outcomes contained in worry episodes can be invoked--and responded to--regardless of external context. We hypothesized that individuals with GAD would be entrained to internally-regulated, fixed patterns of anxiety on a day-to-day basis and that successful therapeutic intervention would serve to mitigate this entrainment. Thus, the present study examined the constructs of flexibility and rigidity as they apply to the daily fluctuation of anxious symptoms in individuals with GAD. We aimed to demonstrate that an apparently variable system can be conceptualized as rigid when the variability maps onto stable and predictable periodic oscillations. Sixty-nine individuals completed cognitive-behavioral treatment for GAD. Average age was 36.62 years (SD = 11.56), and participants were mostly Caucasian (89.5%) and female (68.4%). Daily-diary data indicating level of anxiety on a 0 to 100-point scale and collected four times per day were subjected to spectral analysis in order to determine the spectral power attributable to daily oscillations--which was related to the degree of rigidity in daily anxiety. Diurnal rigidity decreased throughout therapy and the degree to which rigidity was reduced significantly predicted reliable change at post-treatment. Thus, symptom rigidity can be conceptualized as stable periodic fluctuation and is discernible from other metrics of volatility in repeated measures data. Moreover, diurnal rigidity is significantly reduced during treatment, facilitating flexible responding to environmental demands.
Hofmann, Stefan G.; Smits, Jasper A. J.; Asnaani, Anu; Gutner, Cassidy A.; Otto, Michael W.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective intervention for anxiety disorders. However, a significant number of people do not respond or only show partial response even after an adequate course of the treatment. Recent research has shown that the efficacy of the intervention can be improved by the use of cognitive enhancers that augment the core learning processes of cognitive-behavior therapy. This manuscript provides a review of the current state of cognitive enhancers for the treatment of anxiety disorders. PMID:21134394
Moon, Chung-Man; Kim, Gwang-Won; Jeong, Gwang-Woo
Patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experience psychological distress because of excessive and uncontrollable anxiety in everyday life. Only a few morphological studies have so far focused on specific brain regions of interest as well as the gray matter volume changes in GAD patients. This study evaluated gray matter volume alterations in whole-brain areas between GAD patients and healthy controls, and sex differences between the specific brain areas with significant volume changes in GAD patients using voxel-based morphometry. Twenty-two patients with GAD (13 men and nine women), who were diagnosed using the DSM-IV-TR, and 22 age-matched healthy controls (13 men and nine women) participated in this study. The high-resolution MRI data were processed using voxel-based morphometry analysis on the basis of diffeomorphic anatomical registration through an exponentiated Lie algebra algorithm in Statistical Parametric Mapping 8. There was no significant difference in the total intracranial volume between GAD patients and controls, but a significant difference was observed between sexes (P<0.05). Patients with GAD showed significant volume reductions in the hippocampus, midbrain, thalamus, insula, and superior temporal gyrus compared with the controls. As for the sex comparison, female patients showed a significant increase in the volume of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex relative to male patients. Also, the volume of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in female patients was correlated positively with the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale score (γ=0.68, P=0.04). The specific morphological variations in patient with GAD will be helpful to understand the neural mechanism associated with a symptom of GAD. Furthermore, the findings would be valuable for the diagnostic accuracy of GAD using morphometric MRI analysis.
Da Fonseca, D; Cury, F; Fakra, E; Rufo, M; Poinso, F; Bounoua, L; Huguet, P
During the past decade, several studies have reported positive effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of children and adolescents with mental disorders. One of the most important CBT interventions is to teach children and adolescents to challenge negative thoughts that lead to maladjusted behaviors. Based on the implicit theories of intelligence framework, the main purpose of this study was to test whether an incremental theory manipulation could be used to affect IQ test performance in adolescents with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Results showed that patients demonstrated enhanced IQ performance and experienced less state anxiety when they were exposed to an incremental theory of intelligence manipulation. Our findings suggest that incremental theory manipulation provides a useful cognitive strategy for addressing school-related anxiety in adolescents with mental disorders such as GAD.
Clementi, Michelle A; Alfano, Candice A
This study examined the efficacy of Targeted Behavioral Therapy (TBT), a newly developed intervention targeting features of childhood generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Using a time-series design, 4 children (7-12 years) with primary GAD were treated with TBT, which includes sleep improvement strategies, systematic desensitization for reducing intolerance of uncertainty, and in vivo exposures for anxiety. Diagnostic interviews and questionnaires were administered at baseline, post-treatment and 3 months follow-up. Anxiety symptoms and sleep characteristics/problems were rated weekly during a 4-week baseline and 14-weeks of treatment. Two children remitted at post-treatment and no child had a GAD diagnosis at follow-up. Child but not parent report revealed improvements in both worry and sleep. Despite improvements from pre- to post-assessment, considerable symptom fluctuation observed during the baseline period preclude conclusion that symptom changes are specifically attributable to the course of treatment. Overall, preliminary support is provided for the efficacy of TBT for childhood GAD.
Smith, Joshua P.; Randall, Carrie L.
The co-occurrence of anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) is relatively common and is associated with a complex clinical presentation. Sound diagnosis and treatment planning requires that clinicians have an integrated understanding of the developmental pathways and course of this comorbidity. Moreover, standard interventions for anxiety disorders or AUDs may need to be modified and combined in targeted ways to accommodate the unique needs of people who have both disorders. Optimal combination of evidence-based treatments should be based on a comparative balance that considers the advantages and disadvantages of sequential, parallel, and integrated approaches. PMID:23584108
Stein, Dan J; Baldwin, David S; Baldinetti, Francesca; Mandel, Francine
Epidemiological evidence supports comorbidity of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) or dysthymia, and its association with significant disability. As pregabalin, a new alpha(2)-delta anxiolytic treatment for GAD, unlike most other licensed treatments for GAD has not undergone investigation in patients with MDD, we examined its efficacy in depressive symptoms associated with GAD, through a post-hoc analysis of the existing clinical trial database. The results provide consistent evidence that in patients with GAD pregabalin reduced associated symptoms of depression. This was seen in the 150 mg/day, 300-450 mg/day and 600 mg/day dosing groups. Even in subjects with more prominent depressive symptoms, pregabalin remained effective for both sub-syndromal depression and GAD symptoms, with pregabalin 300-450 mg/day demonstrating the most beneficial response. In conclusion, pregabalin, an alternative treatment option for GAD with a novel mechanism of action, also demonstrated efficacy in treating depressive symptoms typically encountered in GAD patients.
Hoge, Elizabeth A.; Bui, Eric; Goetter, Elizabeth; Robinaugh, Donald J.; Ojserkis, Rebecca A.; Fresco, David M.; Simon, Naomi M.
Objective We sought to examine psychological mechanisms of treatment outcomes of a mindfulness meditation intervention for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Methods We examined mindfulness and decentering as two potential therapeutic mechanisms of action of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptom reduction in patients randomized to receive either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or an attention control class (N=38). Multiple mediation analyses were conducted using a non-parametric cross product of the coefficients approach that employs bootstrapping. Results Analyses revealed that change in decentering and change in mindfulness significantly mediated the effect of MBSR on anxiety. When both mediators were included in the model, the multiple mediation analysis revealed a significant indirect effect through increases in decentering, but not mindfulness. Furthermore, the direct effect of MBSR on decrease in anxiety was not significant, suggesting that decentering fully mediated the relationship. Results also suggested that MBSR reduces worry through an increase in mindfulness, specifically by increases in awareness and nonreactivity. Conclusions Improvements in GAD symptoms resulting from MBSR are in part explained by increased levels of decentering. PMID:28316355
Characteristics of subjects with comorbidity of symptoms of generalized anxiety and major depressive disorders and the corresponding threshold and subthreshold conditions in an Arab general population sample
Ohaeri, Jude U.; Awadalla, Abdel W.
Summary Background There is controversy about differential meaningfulness between comorbid generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)/ major depressive disorder (MDD), the corresponding “pure” disorders and subthreshold conditions. We compared subjects who met DSM-IVTR criteria of symptoms and functional impairment for comorbid GAD/MDD, versus those with GAD, MDD, subthreshold conditions, and without significant symptoms. The comparison measures were socio-demographics, clinical severity, and quality of life (QOL). Material/Methods Participants (N=3155: 55.1% female, aged 16–87 yrs) were a general population sample of Kuwaitis who self-completed DSM-IVTR criteria-based questionnaires and the WHOQOL-BREF in 2006/7. We scrutinized the questionnaires and classified them into categories. Results Of the 273 GAD and 210 MDD cases, the prevalence of comorbidity among cases with GAD was 30.8%, and 40% among MDD. Of the 398 subthreshold GAD and 194 subthreshold MDD cases, 58 had subthreshold anxiety/depression comorbidity. Comorbid threshold GAD/MDD cases were significantly older, and more likely to be women, divorced and unemployed, compared with GAD and MDD. In all measures, the threshold GAD/MDD comorbidity was the severest condition. There was a monotonic decrease in QOL with increasing anxiety-depression symptoms. For the predictors of subjective QOL, the GAD/MDD comorbidity group differed markedly from the others. Conclusions The high prevalence of comorbidity and subthreshold conditions supports the recommendation to assess them routinely, regardless of the primary reason for consultation. Our findings support a dimensional model with comorbid GAD/MDD at the higher end of a continuum, and differing from the “pure” conditions by a later onset and predictors of subjective wellbeing. PMID:22367127
He, Yuxin; Chen, Jia; Pan, Zimei; Ying, Zhou
Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses, and acupuncture treatment is widely accepted in the clinic without the side effects seen from various medications. We designed a scalp acupuncture treatment protocol by locating two new stimulation areas. The area one is between Yintang (M-HN-3) and Shangxing (DU-23) and Shenting (DU-24), and the area two is between Taiyang (M-HN-9) and Tianchong (GB-9) and Shuaigu (GB-8). By stimulating these two areas with high-frequency continuous electric waves, remarkable immediate and long-term effects for anxiety disorders have been observed in our practice. The first case was a 70-year-old male with general anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic attacks at night. The scalp acupuncture treatment protocol was applied with electric stimulation for 45 minutes once every week. After four sessions of acupuncture treatments, the patient reported that he did not have panic attacks at night and he had no feelings of anxiety during the day. Follow-up 4 weeks later confirmed that he did not have any episodes of panic attacks and he had no anxiety during the day since his last acupuncture treatment. The second case was a 35-year-old male who was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a history of providing frontline trauma care as a Combat Medics from the Iraq combat field. He also had 21 broken bones and multiple concussions from his time in the battlefield. He had symptoms of severe anxiety, insomnia, nightmares with flashbacks, irritability, and bad temper. He also had chest pain, back pain, and joint pain due to injuries. The above treatment protocol was performed with 30 minutes of electric stimulation each time in combination with body acupuncture for pain management. After weekly acupuncture treatment for the first two visits, the patient reported that he felt less anxious and that his sleep was getting better with fewer nightmares. After six sessions of acupuncture treatments, the patient completely
Chen, Jia; Pan, Zimei; Ying, Zhou
Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses, and acupuncture treatment is widely accepted in the clinic without the side effects seen from various medications. We designed a scalp acupuncture treatment protocol by locating two new stimulation areas. The area one is between Yintang (M-HN-3) and Shangxing (DU-23) and Shenting (DU-24), and the area two is between Taiyang (M-HN-9) and Tianchong (GB-9) and Shuaigu (GB-8). By stimulating these two areas with high-frequency continuous electric waves, remarkable immediate and long-term effects for anxiety disorders have been observed in our practice. The first case was a 70-year-old male with general anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic attacks at night. The scalp acupuncture treatment protocol was applied with electric stimulation for 45 minutes once every week. After four sessions of acupuncture treatments, the patient reported that he did not have panic attacks at night and he had no feelings of anxiety during the day. Follow-up 4 weeks later confirmed that he did not have any episodes of panic attacks and he had no anxiety during the day since his last acupuncture treatment. The second case was a 35-year-old male who was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a history of providing frontline trauma care as a Combat Medics from the Iraq combat field. He also had 21 broken bones and multiple concussions from his time in the battlefield. He had symptoms of severe anxiety, insomnia, nightmares with flashbacks, irritability, and bad temper. He also had chest pain, back pain, and joint pain due to injuries. The above treatment protocol was performed with 30 minutes of electric stimulation each time in combination with body acupuncture for pain management. After weekly acupuncture treatment for the first two visits, the patient reported that he felt less anxious and that his sleep was getting better with fewer nightmares. After six sessions of acupuncture treatments, the patient completely
O'Neil, Kelly A.; Puleo, Connor M.; Benjamin, Courtney L.; Podell, Jennifer L.; Kendall, Philip C.
Evidence is mixed regarding an independent association between anxiety and suicidality in youth. Study 1 examined suicidal ideation in treatment-referred, anxiety-disordered youth (N = 312, aged 7-17). Forty-one percent of anxiety-disordered youth endorsed suicidal ideation. Anxiety disorder severity, global impairment, and current depressive…
Cowie, Jennifer; Palmer, Cara A; Hussain, Hira; Alfano, Candice A
This study compared parents' retrospective reports of their involvement in infant settling strategies and their relation to current sleep patterns among children (N = 84, ages 7-11) with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and healthy controls. Parents of children with GAD were significantly more likely to report rocking their infants to sleep and putting infants down when they were already asleep than parents of healthy controls, even when accounting for infant health-related factors and parental anxiety. Greater involvement in infant sleep routines also predicted sleep patterns (measured via actigraphy) during childhood, though opposite relationships were observed in the two groups. Early involvement was related to poorer sleep in control children but better sleep for children with GAD even after controlling for current parenting practices. Findings suggest differential effects of early sleep-related parenting for children with and without later anxiety disorders with possible implications for early intervention.
Struzik, Lukasz; Vermani, Monica; Coonerty-Femiano, Aimee; Katzman, Martin A
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive chronic anxiety in association with many somatic symptoms. The disorder has pervasive effects on quality of life, including work, social and educational aspects and requires long-term therapy. Available studies in patients are the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition-revised and fourth edition, which have defined generalized anxiety disorder and demonstrate the efficacy of benzodiazepines, azapirones, some antidepressants and psychotherapy. Benzodiazepines are effective anxiolytics for short-term use but are accompanied by many adverse events. The antidepressants, paroxetine and venlafaxine (Efexor), have demonstrated efficacy in patients with generalized anxiety disorder with mild side-effect profiles. They have the additional benefit of efficacy in depression, which frequently occurs comorbidly in these patients. Long-term efficacy has been shown with venlafaxine in the treatment of this chronic condition, confirming that as in depression, the goal must not just be remission beyond simple symptom resolution but also on to improved functioning and quality of life. Psychotherapy with applied relaxation, cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy show the most promise in resolving and maintaining treatment gains in the long-term. These approaches may be useful alone or in combination with adjunctive pharmacotherapy to achieve remission. Based on current evidence, the recommended approach to achieving long-term benefits for patients with generalized anxiety disorder is antidepressant therapy with paroxetine or venlafaxine in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Chambless, Dianne L.; Gillis, Martha M.
Reviews studies of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, and social phobia. Sees CBT as consistently more effective than waiting-list and placebo control groups. Notes that cognitive change may be strong predictor of treatment outcome but that such change may be produced…
... serve as an "alarm system," alerting you to danger. For example, imagine coming home and finding a ... extra spark to help you get out of danger. In more normal but busy situations, anxiety can ...
R, Krolow; D. M, Arcego; C, Noschang; S. N, Weis; C, Dalmaz
The oxidative imbalance appears to have an important role in anxiety development. Studies in both humans and animals have shown a strong correlation between anxiety and oxidative stress. In humans, for example, the increased malondialdehyde levels and discrepancies in antioxidant enzymes in erythrocytes have been observed. In animals, several studies also show that anxiety-like behavior is related to the oxidative imbalance. Moreover, anxiety-like behavior can be caused by pharmacological-induced oxidative stress. Studies using knockout or overexpression of antioxidant enzymes have shown a relationship between anxiety-like behavior and oxidative stress. Related factors of oxidative stress that could influence anxious behavior are revised, including impaired function of different mitochondrial proteins, inflammatory cytokines, and neurotrophic factors. It has been suggested that a therapy specifically focus in reducing reactive species production may have a beneficial effect in reducing anxiety. However, the neurobiological pathways underlying the effect of oxidative stress on anxiety symptoms are not fully comprehended. The challenge now is to identify the oxidative stress mechanisms likely to be involved in the induction of anxiety symptoms. Understanding these pathways could help to clarify the neurobiology of the anxiety disorder and provide tools for new discovery in therapies and preventive strategies. PMID:24669212
Are Worry and Rumination Specific Pathways Linking Neuroticism and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder?
Merino, Hipólito; Senra, Carmen; Ferreiro, Fátima
This study examines the relationships between neuroticism (higher-order vulnerability factor), the cognitive styles of worry, brooding and reflection (second-order vulnerability factors) and symptoms of anxiety and depression in three groups of patients: patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and with Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder (MADD). One hundred and thirty four patients completed a battery of questionnaires including measures of neuroticism, worry, rumination (brooding and reflection), anxiety and depression. Multiple mediation analyses indicate that worry may act as a mediating mechanism linking neuroticism and anxiety symptoms in the three diagnostic groups, whereas brooding-rumination may play a mediating role between neuroticism and depressive symptoms in patients with MDD and MADD and, with less certainty, in patients with GAD. Overall, our findings suggest that neuroticism may increase the risk of anxious and depressive symptoms via specific links involving either worry or brooding, respectively, and that both worry and brooding may operate in the three groups examined, irrespectively of whether anxiety or depression are the main emotions or whether they coexist without any clear predominance; consequently, we hypothesize the existence of "specific transdiagnostic" mechanisms.
Are Worry and Rumination Specific Pathways Linking Neuroticism and Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder?
Merino, Hipólito; Ferreiro, Fátima
This study examines the relationships between neuroticism (higher-order vulnerability factor), the cognitive styles of worry, brooding and reflection (second-order vulnerability factors) and symptoms of anxiety and depression in three groups of patients: patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and with Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder (MADD). One hundred and thirty four patients completed a battery of questionnaires including measures of neuroticism, worry, rumination (brooding and reflection), anxiety and depression. Multiple mediation analyses indicate that worry may act as a mediating mechanism linking neuroticism and anxiety symptoms in the three diagnostic groups, whereas brooding-rumination may play a mediating role between neuroticism and depressive symptoms in patients with MDD and MADD and, with less certainty, in patients with GAD. Overall, our findings suggest that neuroticism may increase the risk of anxious and depressive symptoms via specific links involving either worry or brooding, respectively, and that both worry and brooding may operate in the three groups examined, irrespectively of whether anxiety or depression are the main emotions or whether they coexist without any clear predominance; consequently, we hypothesize the existence of "specific transdiagnostic" mechanisms. PMID:27243462
Zhang, X; Norton, J; Carrière, I; Ritchie, K; Chaudieu, I; Ancelin, M-L
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic and highly prevalent disorder associated with increased disability and mortality in the elderly. Treatment is difficult with low rate of full remission, thus highlighting the need to identify early predictors for prevention in elderly people. The aim of this study is to identify and characterize incident GAD predictors in elderly people. A total of 1711 individuals aged 65 years and above and free of GAD at baseline were randomly recruited from electoral rolls between 1999 and 2001 (the prospective ESPRIT study). The participants were examined at baseline and five times over 12 years. GAD and psychiatric comorbidity were diagnosed with a standardized psychiatric examination, the Mini-International Neuropsychiatry Interview on the basis of DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition) criteria and validated by a clinical panel. During the follow-up, 8.4% (95% confidence interval=7.1-9.7%) of the participants experienced incident GAD, 80% being first episodes; the incident rate being 10 per 1000 person-years. The principal predictors of late-onset incident GAD over 12 years derived from a multivariate Cox model were being female, recent adverse life events, having chronic physical (respiratory disorders, arrhythmia and heart failure, dyslipidemia, cognitive impairment) and mental (depression, phobia and past GAD) health disorders. Poverty, parental loss or separation and low affective support during childhood, as well as history of mental problems in parents were also significantly and independently associated with incident GAD. GAD appears as a multifactorial stress-related affective disorder resulting from both proximal and distal risk factors, some of them being potentially modifiable by health care intervention.
The fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the DSM-5 appeared officially in May 2013 during the development of the 166th Annual Meetingof the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in San Francisco. The drafting process was long and complex; much of the debate became public so that the expectations were great. And it must be said that the new edition did not disappoint, as many changes were made in relation to their predecessors. In Chapter of Anxiety Disorders, which is reviewed in this article, the changes were significant. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and Stress-related disorders were excluded and new clinical pictures, such as separation anxiety disorder and selective mutism, were included. And took place was the long awaited split between panic disorder and agoraphobia, now two separate disorders.
Craske, Michelle G; Waters, Allison M
This chapter provides a review of recent empirical developments, current controversies, and areas in need of further research in relation to factors that are common as well as specific to the etiology and maintenance of panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. The relative contribution of broad risk factors to these disorders is discussed, including temperament, genetics, biological influences, cognition, and familial variables. In addition, the role that specific learning experiences play in relation to each disorder is reviewed. In an overarching hierarchical model, it is proposed that generalized anxiety disorder, and to some extent panic disorder, loads most heavily on broad underlying factors, whereas specific life history contributes most strongly to circumscribed phobias.
Luyten, Laura; Vansteenwegen, Debora; van Kuyck, Kris; Gabriëls, Loes; Nuttin, Bart
Animal models of psychiatric disorders are important translational tools for exploring new treatment options and gaining more insight into the disease. Thus far, there is no systematically validated animal model for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a severely impairing and difficult-to-treat disease. In this review, we propose contextual conditioning (CC) as an animal model for GAD. We argue that this model has sufficient face validity (there are several symptom similarities), predictive validity (it responds to clinically effective treatments), and construct validity (the underlying mechanisms are comparable). Although the refinement and validation of an animal model is a never-ending process, we want to give a concise overview of the currently available evidence. We suggest that the CC model might be a valuable preclinical tool to enhance the development of new treatment strategies and our understanding of GAD.
Hoge, Elizabeth A; Bui, Eric; Palitz, Sophie A; Schwarz, Noah R; Owens, Maryann E; Johnston, Jennifer M; Pollack, Mark H; Simon, Naomi M
Mindfulness-Based interventions have increased in popularity in psychiatry, but the impact of these treatments on disorder-relevant biomarkers would greatly enhance efficacy and mechanistic evidence. If Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is successfully treated, relevant biomarkers should change, supporting the impact of treatment and suggesting improved resilience to stress. Seventy adults with GAD were randomized to receive either Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or an attention control class; before and after, they underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Area-Under-the-Curve (AUC) concentrations were calculated for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. MBSR participants had a significantly greater reduction in ACTH AUC compared to control participants. Similarly, the MBSR group had a greater reduction in inflammatory cytokines' AUC concentrations. We found larger reductions in stress markers for patients with GAD in the MBSR class compared to control; this provides the first combined hormonal and immunological evidence that MBSR may enhance resilience to stress.
Contractor, Ateka A; Elhai, Jon D; Fine, Thomas H; Tamburrino, Marijo B; Cohen, Gregory; Shirley, Edwin; Chan, Philip K; Liberzon, Israel; Galea, Sandro; Calabrese, Joseph R
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is comorbid with major depressive disorder (MDD; Kessler et al., 1995) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; Brown et al., 2001). We aimed to (1) assess discrete patterns of post-trauma PTSD-depression-GAD symptoms using latent profile analyses (LPAs), and (2) assess covariates (gender, income, education, age) in defining the best fitting class solution. The PTSD Checklist (assessing PTSD symptoms), GAD-7 scale (assessing GAD symptoms), and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (assessing depression) were administered to 1266 trauma-exposed Ohio National Guard soldiers. Results indicated three discrete subgroups based on symptom patterns with mild (class 1), moderate (class 2) and severe (class 3) levels of symptomatology. Classes differed in symptom severity rather than symptom type. Income and education significantly predicted class 1 versus class 3 membership, and class 2 versus class 3. In conclusion, there is heterogeneity regarding severity of PTSD-depression-GAD symptomatology among trauma-exposed soldiers, with income and education predictive of class membership.
Magidson, Jessica F; Liu, Shang-Min; Lejuez, C W; Blanco, Carlos
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly comorbid, and GAD-SUD comorbidity is associated with a host of poor psychosocial outcomes, including higher rates of hospitalization, disability, functional impairment, and inferior GAD and SUD treatment outcomes. Despite the noted severity of this group and clinical implications, current research is limited in a few distinct ways; studies have rarely utilized a longitudinal design and non-treatment seeking individuals to examine how GAD comorbidity impacts SUD outcomes over time. The current study utilized a nationally representative sample of individuals in the U.S. assessed in the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) at Wave 1 (2001-2002) and Wave 2 (2004-2005), comparing individuals who met criteria for both DSM-IV past year GAD and SUD (n = 286) and those who met criteria for past year SUD only without GAD (n = 5730) at Wave 1. Results indicated that GAD-SUD individuals were significantly more severe than the SUD only group across almost all outcomes assessed (with the exception of alcohol frequency); individuals with GAD-SUD had a more severe psychiatric history, worse health-related quality of life at both waves, greater incidence of new Axis I disorders, higher rates of treatment seeking, and greater self-reported drug use at the follow up. The current study is the first to compare individuals with SUD with and without comorbid GAD over time using a nationally representative sample. Findings further support the clinical severity of this group and suggest the need for GAD-SUD treatment options.
Hughes, Alicia A.; Furr, Jami M.; Sood, Erica D.; Barmish, Andrea J.; Kendall, Philip C.
Examined the prevalence of anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders in the parents of anxiety disordered (AD) children relative to children with no psychological disorder (NPD). The specificity of relationships between child and parent anxiety disorders was also investigated. Results revealed higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders in…
Kusec, Andrea; Tallon, Kathleen; Koerner, Naomi
Although numerous studies have provided support for the notion that intolerance of uncertainty plays a key role in pathological worry (the hallmark feature of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)), other uncertainty-related constructs may also have relevance for the understanding of individuals who engage in pathological worry. Three constructs from the social cognition literature, causal uncertainty, causal importance, and self-concept clarity, were examined in the present study to assess the degree to which these explain unique variance in GAD, over and above intolerance of uncertainty. N = 235 participants completed self-report measures of trait worry, GAD symptoms, and uncertainty-relevant constructs. A subgroup was subsequently classified as low in GAD symptoms (n = 69) or high in GAD symptoms (n = 54) based on validated cut scores on measures of trait worry and GAD symptoms. In logistic regressions, only elevated intolerance of uncertainty and lower self-concept clarity emerged as unique correlates of high (vs. low) GAD symptoms. The possible role of self-concept uncertainty in GAD and the utility of integrating social cognition theories and constructs into clinical research on intolerance of uncertainty are discussed.
Funke, R; Eichler, A; Distler, J; Golub, Y; Kratz, O; Moll, G H
Because chronic stress is an important risk factor for anxiety states and depressive disorders, we studied hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic system activity via changes in cortisol and alpha amylase activity levels in pediatric generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients (n = 26) with comorbid depression and a healthy comparison group (n = 26). Morning plasma cortisol and diurnal profiles of salivary cortisol and salivary alpha amylase (sAA) activity were assessed, also reactivity of HPA-axis, sAA activity, and heart rate following a psychosocial stressor (Trier Social Stress Test for children). GAD patients with comorbid depression showed increased morning plasma and salivary cortisol levels, ameliorating throughout in-patient treatment, and higher sAA activity in their diurnal profile. Both HPA and sympathetic activity positively correlated with the severity of anxiety and depression. We also demonstrated a blunted HPA and sympathetic response to acute stress in patients. This pattern of neuroendocrine and sympathetic changes seems to be distinct from the one previously reported in pediatric patients with only social anxiety or depressive disorders. We propose morning plasma and saliva cortisol levels as potential physiological indicators for supporting the evaluation of symptoms' severity and treatment progress in children with GAD and comorbid depressive disorder.
Frampton, James E
Pregabalin (Lyrica(®)), a well established anxiolytic agent, has been approved in the EU for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults. It has a distinct mechanism of action relative to other anti-anxiety agents (α2δ binding at presynaptic voltage dependent calcium channels leading to inhibition of excitatory neurotransmission), a rapid onset of effect (typically ≤1 week) and broad spectrum activity against both the psychic and somatic symptoms of GAD. In long-term studies, pregabalin maintained improvements in anxiety symptoms that occurred in response to short-term treatment and delayed the time to relapse of GAD compared with placebo. Common comorbidities of GAD, such as insomnia, gastrointestinal symptoms and subsyndromal depression, have no effect on the anxiolytic efficacy of, and moreover are specifically improved by, pregabalin. Treatment with pregabalin is generally well tolerated; the drug has an adverse event profile that includes dizziness, somnolence and weight gain. The potential for abuse of pregabalin is low; the risk of withdrawal symptoms is generally low when the drug is discontinued gradually (over 1 week). Alongside selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), pregabalin is considered a first-line agent for the long-term treatment of GAD by the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry. It should be stressed, however, that definitive head-to-head studies comparing pregabalin with SSRI/SNRIs, including in patients with GAD and co-morbid major depressive disorder, are currently lacking. Recently, a study of SSRI/SNRI augmentation with pregabalin yielded positive results, while another study of switching from long-term benzodiazepine therapy to pregabalin was inconclusive; further investigations on these topics are warranted.
Zhou, Yongjie; Cao, Zhongqiang; Yang, Mei; Xi, Xiaoyan; Guo, Yiyang; Fang, Maosheng; Cheng, Lijuan; Du, Yukai
The comorbidity of major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is common and often predicts poorer outcomes than either disorder alone. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of comorbid GAD and its association with quality of life (QOL) among MDD patients. A total of 1225 psychiatric outpatients were screened using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Those who scored ≥8 on the HADS were interviewed using DSM-IV criteria by two senior psychiatrists. Patients diagnosed with MDD were further assessed using the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire, Social Support Rating Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and World Health Organization QOL Scale, brief version (WHOQOL-BREF). Ultimately, 667 patients were diagnosed with MDD, of 71.7% of whom had GAD. Compared to those with MDD alone, comorbid patients had lower scores on the physical (38.64 ± 10.35 vs.36.54 ± 12.32, P = 0.026) and psychological (35.54 ± 12.98 vs. 30.61 ± 14.66, P < 0.001) domains of the WHOQOL-BREF. The association between comorbid GAD and poor QOL on the two domains remained statistically significant in the multiple linear regression (unstandardized coefficients: −1.97 and −4.65, P < 0.001). In conclusion, the prevalence of comorbid GAD in MDD patients is high, and co-occurring GAD may exacerbate impaired physical and psychological QOL in Chinese MDD patients. PMID:28098176
Peterson, Andrew; Thome, Janine; Frewen, Paul; Lanius, Ruth A
This review examines recent functional neuroimaging research of resting-state regional connectivity between brain regions in anxiety disorders. Studies compiled in the PubMed- National Center for Biotechnology Information database targeting resting-state functional connectivity in anxiety disorders were reviewed. Diagnoses included posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD), and specific phobia (SP). Alterations to network connectivity were demonstrated in PTSD, GAD, SAD, OCD, and PD in several resting-state investigations. Differences from control subjects were primarily observed in the default mode network within PTSD, SAD, and OCD. Alterations within the salience network were observed primarily in PTSD, GAD, and SAD. Alterations in corticostriatal networks were uniquely observed in OCD. Finally, alterations within somatosensory networks were observed in SAD and PD investigations. Resting-state studies involving SPs as a primary diagnosis (with or without comorbidities) were not generated during the literature search. The emerging use of resting-state paradigms may be an effective method for understanding associations between anxiety disorders. Targeted studies of PD and SPs, meta-analyses of the studies conducted to date, and studies of the impact of specific comorbid presentations, are recommended future research directions.
Dear, B F; Staples, L G; Terides, M D; Karin, E; Zou, J; Johnston, L; Gandy, M; Fogliati, V J; Wootton, B M; McEvoy, P M; Titov, N
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can be treated effectively with either disorder-specific cognitive behavior therapy (DS-CBT) or transdiagnostic CBT (TD-CBT). The relative benefits of DS-CBT and TD-CBT for GAD and the relative benefits of delivering treatment in clinician guided (CG-CBT) and self-guided (SG-CBT) formats have not been examined. Participants with GAD (n=338) were randomly allocated to receive an internet-delivered TD-CBT or DS-CBT intervention delivered in either CG-CBT or SG-CBT formats. Large reductions in symptoms of GAD (Cohen's d ≥ 1.48; avg. reduction ≥ 50%) and comorbid major depressive disorder (Cohen's d ≥ 1.64; avg. reduction ≥ 45%), social anxiety disorder (Cohen's d ≥ 0.80; avg. reduction ≥ 29%) and panic disorder (Cohen's d ≥ 0.55; avg. reduction ≥ 33%) were found across the conditions. No substantive differences were observed between DS-CBT and TD-CBT or CG-CBT and SG-CBT, highlighting the public health potential of carefully developed TD-CBT and SG-CBT.
Cui, Xuelian; Niu, Wei; Kong, Lingming; He, Mingjun; Jiang, Kunhong; Chen, Shengdong; Zhong, Aifang; Li, Wanshuai; Lu, Jim; Zhang, Liyi
Depression and anxiety are apparent symptoms in the early onset or acute phase of schizophrenia (SZ), which complicate timely diagnosis and treatment. It is imperative to seek an indicator to distinguish schizophrenia from depressive and anxiety disorders. Using lncRNA microarray profiling and RT-PCR, three up-regulated lncRNAs in SZ, six down-regulated lncRNAs in major depressive disorder (MDD), and three up-regulated lncRNAs in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) had been identified as potential biomarkers. All the lncRNAs were, then, cross-validated in 40 SZ patients, 40 MDD patients, 40 GAD patients, and 40 normal controls. Compared with controls, three up-regulated SZ lncRNAs had a significantly down-regulated expression in GAD, and no remarkable differences existed between MDD and the controls. Additionally, the six down-regulated MDD lncRNAs were expressed in an opposite fashion in SZ, and the expression of the three up-regulated GAD lncRNAs were significantly different between SZ and GAD. These results indicate that the expression patterns of the three up-regulated SZ lncRNAs could not be completely replicated in MDD and GAD, and vice versa. Thus, these three SZ lncRNAs seem to be established as potential indicators for diagnosis of schizophrenia and distinguishing it from MDD and GAD.© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Newman, Michelle G.; Llera, Sandra J.
An important emphasis of the literature on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has been to achieve a greater understanding of the function of emotion (e.g., avoidance, dysregulation) in the etiology and maintenance of this disorder. The purpose of the following paper is to propose a new way of conceptualizing emotional sequelae in GAD by detailing the Contrast Avoidance Model of Worry. In presenting this model, we review theory and data that led to our current position, which is that individuals with GAD are more sensitive to feeling emotionally vulnerable to unexpected negative events, and that worry (the key pathological feature of GAD) is employed to prolong and maintain a negative emotional state thereby avoiding an unexpected negative emotional shift, or contrast experience. We also discuss implications for treatment given the presence of a new target for emotional exposure techniques. Finally, we establish the Contrast Avoidance Model within the framework of extant theories and models of pathogenic processes of GAD. PMID:21334285
Newman, Michelle G; Llera, Sandra J
An important emphasis of the literature on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has been to achieve a greater understanding of the function of emotion (e.g., avoidance, dysregulation) in the etiology and maintenance of this disorder. The purpose of the following paper is to propose a new way of conceptualizing emotional sequelae in GAD by detailing the Contrast Avoidance Model of Worry. In presenting this model, we review theory and data that led to our current position, which is that individuals with GAD are more sensitive to feeling emotionally vulnerable to unexpected negative events, and that worry (the key pathological feature of GAD) is employed to prolong and maintain a negative emotional state thereby avoiding an unexpected negative emotional shift, or contrast experience. We also discuss implications for treatment given the presence of a new target for emotional exposure techniques. Finally, we establish the Contrast Avoidance Model within the framework of extant theories and models of pathogenic processes of GAD.
Hölzel, Britta K.; Hoge, Elizabeth A.; Greve, Douglas N.; Gard, Tim; Creswell, J. David; Brown, Kirk Warren; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Schwartz, Carl; Vaitl, Dieter; Lazar, Sara W.
Mindfulness training aims to impact emotion regulation. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms can be successfully addressed through mindfulness-based interventions. This preliminary study is the first to investigate neural mechanisms of symptom improvements in GAD following mindfulness training. Furthermore, we compared brain activation between GAD patients and healthy participants at baseline. 26 patients with a current DSM-IV GAD diagnosis were randomized to an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR, N = 15) or a stress management education (SME, N = 11) active control program. 26 healthy participants were included for baseline comparisons. BOLD response was assessed with fMRI during affect labeling of angry and neutral facial expressions. At baseline, GAD patients showed higher amygdala activation than healthy participants in response to neutral, but not angry faces, suggesting that ambiguous stimuli reveal stronger reactivity in GAD patients. In patients, amygdala activation in response to neutral faces decreased following both interventions. BOLD response in ventrolateral prefrontal regions (VLPFC) showed greater increase in MBSR than SME participants. Functional connectivity between amygdala and PFC regions increased significantly pre- to post-intervention within the MBSR, but not SME group. Both, change in VLPFC activation and amygdala–prefrontal connectivity were correlated with change in Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) scores, suggesting clinical relevance of these changes. Amygdala–prefrontal connectivity turned from negative coupling (typically seen in down-regulation of emotions), to positive coupling; potentially suggesting a unique mechanism of mindfulness. Findings suggest that in GAD, mindfulness training leads to changes in fronto-limbic areas crucial for the regulation of emotion; these changes correspond with reported symptom improvements. PMID:24179799
This article describes six common types of anxiety disorders: (1) generalized anxiety disorder; (2) panic disorder; (3) obsessive-compulsive disorder; (4) post-traumatic stress disorder; (5) specific phobias; and (6) social phobia. Treatment of anxiety disorders have two components that can be offered separately or in combination. They are…
Feltner, Douglas; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Kavoussi, Richard; Brock, Jerri; Baldinetti, Francesca; Pande, Atul C
A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of pregabalin in preventing relapse of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) after response to short-term treatment. Outpatients (n=624) with GAD for > or =1 year received open-label pregabalin (450 mg/day) for 8 weeks and, if a clinical response was observed, were randomized to receive either pregabalin (450 mg/day; n=168) or placebo (n=170) for 24 weeks. The primary efficacy parameter was time to relapse. Among responders to open-label acute treatment with pregabalin, time to relapse of GAD was significantly longer for patients treated with pregabalin compared with placebo (P<0.0001). Fifty per cent of the placebo group had relapsed by day 23, and at study endpoint, 65% had relapsed. In the pregabalin group, only 42% had relapsed by study end. Total attrition during double-blind treatment was somewhat higher on pregabalin compared with placebo (21.4 vs. 15.3%); attrition owing to adverse events (AEs) was also somewhat higher on pregabalin (6.0 vs. 2.4%). AEs were relatively low in the double-blind phase; only three AEs occurred with an incidence of more than 5% on pregabalin and placebo, respectively: infection (14.9 vs. 11.2%), headache (10.1 vs. 11.2%), and somnolence (6.0 vs. 0%). No safety concerns were identified with long-term treatment. The study indicates that pregabalin is an effective treatment for the prevention of relapse in patients with GAD.
van Eijck, Fenna E. A. M.; Branje, Susan J. T.; Hale, William W., III; Meeus, Wim H. J.
This longitudinal study examined the direction of effects between adolescents' generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms and perceived parent-adolescent attachment relationship quality, as well as the moderating role of gender and age. 1,313 Dutch adolescents (48.5% boys) from two age cohorts of early (n = 923, M[subscript age] = 12 at W1) and…
Stanley, Melinda A.; Diefenbach, Gretchen J.; Hopko, Derek R.
At least four academic clinical trials have demonstrated the utility of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). These data may not generalize, however, to more heterogeneous and functionally impaired patients and the medical settings in which they typically receive care. A recent pilot project…
Autism Spectrum Disorders; Autism; Asperger's Syndrome; Pervasive Developmental Disability - Not Otherwise Specified; Obsessive-compulsive Disorder; Social Phobia; Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Specific Phobia; Separation Anxiety Disorder
Ottaviani, Cristina; Watson, David R; Meeten, Frances; Makovac, Elena; Garfinkel, Sarah N; Critchley, Hugo D
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by difficulties in inhibiting both perseverative thoughts (worry and rumination) and autonomic arousal. We investigated the neurobiological substrates of such abnormal inhibitory processes, hypothesizing aberrant functional coupling within 'default mode' (DMN) and autonomic brain networks. Functional imaging and heart rate variability (HRV) data were acquired from GAD patients and controls during performance of three tracking tasks interspersed with a perseverative cognition (PC) induction. After detection of infrequent target stimuli, activity within putative DMN hubs was suppressed, consistent with a redirection of attentional resources from internal to external focus. This magnitude of activity change was attenuated in patients and individuals with higher trait PC, but was predicted by individual differences in HRV. Following the induction of PC in controls, this pattern of neural reactivity became closer to that of GAD patients. Results support, at a neural level, the association between cognitive inflexibility and autonomic rigidity.
Coid, Jeremy; Ullrich, Simone
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) with co-morbid anxiety disorder may be a variant of ASPD with different etiology and treatment requirements. We investigated diagnostic co-morbidity, ASPD criteria, and anxiety/affective symptoms of ASPD/anxiety disorder. Weighted analyses were carried out using survey data from a representative British household sample. ASPD/anxiety disorder demonstrated differing patterns of antisocial criteria, co-morbidity with clinical syndromes, psychotic symptoms, and other personality disorders compared to ASPD alone. ASPD criteria demonstrated specific associations with CIS-R scores of anxiety and affective symptoms. Findings suggest ASPD/anxiety disorder is a variant of ASPD, determined by symptoms of anxiety. Although co-morbid anxiety and affective symptoms are the same as in anxiety disorder alone, associations with psychotic symptoms require further investigation.
Price, John S.
Danger and harm are avoided by strategic decisions made at all three levels of the triune forebrain: rational (neomammalian), emotional (paleomammalian), and instinctive (reptilian). This applies also to potential harm from conspecifics, which leads to a choice between escalating and de-escalating strategies. Anxiety is a component of de-escalating strategies mediated by the paleomammalian and reptilian forebrains. When the neomammalian (rational) brain fails to deal with the threat of conspecific danger, these more primitive de-escalating strategies may be activated and may present as anxiety disorders. The capacity for concealment of anxiety and other forms of negative affect has also evolved, and excessive concealment may lead to psychopaihology by breaking the negative feedback loop of excessive motivation, leading to impaired performance, leading to signals of distress, and leading to reduced exhortation to succeed on the part of parents and teachers; this situation is illustrated by a model based on the Yerkes-Dodson law. PMID:22033473
Hofmann, Stefan G; Curtiss, Joshua; Khalsa, Sat Bir S; Hoge, Elizabeth; Rosenfield, David; Bui, Eric; Keshaviah, Aparna; Simon, Naomi
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder associated with significant distress and interference. Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be the most effective form of psychotherapy, few patients receive or have access to this intervention. Yoga therapy offers another promising, yet under-researched, intervention that is gaining increasing popularity in the general public, as an anxiety reduction intervention. The purpose of this innovative clinical trial protocol is to investigate the efficacy of a Kundalini Yoga intervention, relative to CBT and a control condition. Kundalini yoga and CBT are compared with each other in a noninferiority test and both treatments are compared to stress education training, an attention control intervention, in superiority tests. The sample will consist of 230 individuals with a primary DSM-5 diagnosis of GAD. This randomized controlled trial will compare yoga (N=95) to both CBT for GAD (N=95) and stress education (N=40), a commonly used control condition. All three treatments will be administered by two instructors in a group format over 12 weekly sessions with four to six patients per group. Groups will be randomized using permuted block randomization, which will be stratified by site. Treatment outcome will be evaluated bi-weekly and at 6month follow-up. Furthermore, potential mediators of treatment outcome will be investigated. Given the individual and economic burden associated with GAD, identifying accessible alternative behavioral treatments will have substantive public health implications.
Hofmann, Stefan G.; Curtiss, Joshua; Khalsa, Sat Bir S.; Hoge, Elizabeth; Rosenfield, David; Bui, Eric; Keshaviah, Aparna; Simon, Naomi
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder associated with significant distress and interference. Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to the most effective form of psychotherapy, few patients receive or have access to this intervention. Yoga therapy offers another promising, yet under-researched, intervention that is gaining increasing popularity in the general public, as an anxiety reduction intervention. The purpose of this innovative clinical trial protocol is to investigate the efficacy of a Kundalini Yoga intervention, relative to CBT and a control condition. Kundalini yoga and CBT are compared with each other in a noninferiority test and both treatments are compared to stress education training, an attention control intervention, in superiority tests. The sample will consist of 230 individuals with a primary DSM-5 diagnosis of GAD. This randomized controlled trial will compare yoga (N = 95) to both CBT for GAD (N=95) and stress education (N = 40), a commonly used control condition. All three treatments will be administered by two instructors in a group format over 12 weekly sessions with four to six patients per group. Groups will be randomized using permuted block randomization, which will be stratified by site. Treatment outcome will be evaluated bi-weekly and at 6 month follow-up. Furthermore, potential mediators of treatment outcome will be investigated. Given the individual and economic burden associated with GAD, identifying accessible alternative behavioral treatments will have substantive public health implications. PMID:26255236
Christmas, David M; Hood, Sean D
Anxiety disorders are common and debilitating mental illnesses. Current pharmacological treatments are beset by problems of poor efficacy and side effect profiles. Increasing understanding of novel neurotransmitter systems and the interplay between these systems is broadening the scope of anxiolytic drug treatment. This article aims to describe the areas of current interest and possible future development of anxiolytic drugs by outlining recent patents in this field. A patent database was searched for 17 neurotransmitters and their synonyms as well as 23 compounds of recent known interest from May 2003 to May 2005. The internet resources Pubmed and Google Scholar were searched for peer reviewed literature using the same search parameters. Results were grouped into neurotransmitter systems to present an overview of recent developments in the neuropharmacology of anxiety disorders.
Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Garnefski, Nadia; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.
The present study investigated differences in cognitive coping strategies between anxiety-disordered and non-anxious adolescents. In addition, the interaction effect with gender as well as differences between specific anxiety diagnoses was examined. A clinical sample of 159 anxiety-disordered adolescents and a general community sample of 370…
Calamari, John E.; Rector, Neil A.; Woodard, John L.; Cohen, Robyn J.; Chik, Heather M.
Anxiety sensitivity (AS), a cognitive risk factor for anxiety disorders, was evaluated in a homogeneous obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) sample. A total of 280 individuals with OCD completed measures. Evaluation of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index revealed a latent structure that was congruent with previous studies showing a single higher order…
Hartford, James T.; Endicott, Jean; Kornstein, Susan G.; Allgulander, Christer; Wohlreich, Madelaine M.; Russell, James M.; Perahia, David G. S.; Erickson, Janelle S.
Objective: To conduct a post hoc evaluation of the prevalence of clinically significant pain and the efficacy of duloxetine in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and concurrent pain. Method: Data from two 9- to 10-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials of duloxetine (60 to 120 mg) in DSM-IV–defined GAD were analyzed (study 1 was conducted from July 2004 to September 2005; study 2 was conducted from August 2004 to June 2005). Efficacy was assessed with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A), visual analog scales (VAS) for pain, the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement of Illness (CGI-I) scale, the Patient Global Impressions-Improvement (PGI-I) scale, and the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) global functional impairment scale. Results: Of 840 patients randomly assigned to treatment, 61.3% (302 duloxetine, 213 placebo) had VAS scores ≥ 30 mm on at least 1 of the pain scales, indicating clinically significant pain. Among those patients with concurrent pain at baseline, change from baseline to endpoint in the HAM-A total score (42.9% change in mean scores for duloxetine, 31.4% for placebo), HADS anxiety scale (40.3% vs. 22.8%), HADS depression scale (36.1% vs. 20.5%), HAM-A psychic factor (45.9% vs. 29.9%), and SDS global functional improvement score (45.5% vs. 22.1%) was significantly (all p's < .001) greater for duloxetine compared with placebo. Improvement on the CGI-I (p = .003) and PGI-I (p < .001) was also significantly greater for duloxetine. Response (HAM-A total score decrease ≥ 50%) (49% vs. 29%) and remission (HAM-A total score ≤ 7 at endpoint) (29% vs. 18%) rates were significantly greater for duloxetine compared with placebo (p < .001 and p = .041, respectively). Duloxetine demonstrated statistically significantly greater reduction in pain on all 6 VAS pain scales (all p's < .001 except headaches with p < .002) (for duloxetine, percent change in means from
Chambers, Julie A; Power, Kevin G; Durham, Robert C
The current study examined the relationship between measures of trait vulnerability and long-term outcome in 83 patients diagnosed and treated for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) 8-14 years previously. Diagnostic status was assessed by structured interview, and trait affect, trait anxiety and trait depression were measured by the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T) and the Personal Style Inventory (PSI), respectively. Trait measures were all highly inter-correlated, and patients with diagnoses of GAD, social phobia and depressive disorders at long-term follow-up recorded very poor scores on all three scales. Trait anxiety recorded pre-treatment was also related to both anxiety and depression at long-term follow-up. However, trait depression showed no significant association with panic disorder. Increased numbers of comorbid diagnoses were strongly related to high levels of both trait anxiety and negative affect (NA). The findings suggest that patients reporting high trait anxiety or NA may suffer from a chronic course of disorder and higher levels of comorbidity over the longer term.
Kanuri, Nitya; Taylor, C Barr; Cohen, Jeffrey M; Newman, Michelle G
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders on college campuses and often goes unidentified and untreated. We propose a combined prevention and treatment model composed of evidence-based self-help (SH) and guided self-help (GSH) interventions to address this issue. To inform the development of this stepped-care model of intervention delivery, we evaluated results from a population-based anxiety screening of college students. A primary model was developed to illustrate how increasing levels of symptomatology could be linked to prevention/treatment interventions. We used screening data to propose four models of classification for populations at risk for GAD. We then explored the cost considerations of implementing this prevention/treatment stepped-care model. Among 2489 college students (mean age 19.1 years; 67% female), 8.0% (198/2489) met DSM-5 clinical criteria for GAD, in line with expected clinical rates for this population. At-risk Model 1 (subthreshold, but considerable symptoms of anxiety) identified 13.7% of students as potentially at risk for developing GAD. Model 2 (subthreshold, but high GAD symptom severity) identified 13.7%. Model 3 (subthreshold, but symptoms were distressing) identified 12.3%. Model 4 (subthreshold, but considerable worry) identified 17.4%. There was little overlap among these models, with a combined at-risk population of 39.4%. The efficiency of these models in identifying those truly at risk and the cost and efficacy of preventive interventions will determine if prevention is viable. Using Model 1 data and conservative cost estimates, we found that a preventive intervention effect size of even 0.2 could make a prevention/treatment model more cost-effective than existing models of "wait-and-treat."
Dahlin, Mats; Andersson, Gerhard; Magnusson, Kristoffer; Johansson, Tomas; Sjögren, Johan; Håkansson, Andreas; Pettersson, Magnus; Kadowaki, Åsa; Cuijpers, Pim; Carlbring, Per
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a disabling condition which can be treated with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). The present study tested the effects of therapist-guided internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy on symptoms of GAD and quality of life. An audio CD with acceptance and mindfulness exercises and a separate workbook were also included in the treatment. Participants diagnosed with GAD (N = 103) were randomly allocated to immediate therapist-guided internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy or to a waiting-list control condition. A six month follow-up was also included. Results using hierarchical linear modelling showed moderate to large effects on symptoms of GAD (Cohen's d = 0.70 to 0.98), moderate effects on depressive symptoms (Cohen's d = 0.51 to 0.56), and no effect on quality of life. Follow-up data showed maintained effects. While there was a 20% dropout rate, sensitivity analyses showed that dropouts did not differ in their degree of change during treatment. To conclude, our study suggests that internet-delivered acceptance-based behaviour therapy can be effective in reducing the symptoms of GAD.
Hirsch, Colette R; Hayes, Sarra; Mathews, Andrew; Perman, Gemma; Borkovec, Tom
Clients in treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) were compared to a control group to assess the extent and nature of imagery during worry or while thinking about a personally relevant positive future event. Two methods were used to assess mentation and were completed in counter balanced order within the worry and positive conditions. One method assessed the occurrence of imagery by requiring participants to categorize their mentation as verbal thoughts or images every 10 s. The other method involved participants estimating the duration of any imagery that occurred in the previous 10 s. Imagery during worry occurred less often than while thinking about a positive event for both groups, but GAD clients had a more pronounced deficit of imagery during worry than the control group. Images that occurred were briefer during worry than while thinking about a positive future event and were briefer in the GAD than the control group for both worry and positive conditions. The results thus confirmed that imagery is less common during worry in clients with GAD but also demonstrated that the imagery that does occur in GAD is briefer.
Dugas, Michel J; Ladouceur, Robert; Léger, Eliane; Freeston, Mark H; Langlois, Frédéric; Provencher, Martin D; Boisvert, Jean-Marie
A recently developed cognitive-behavioral treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) targets intolerance of uncertainty by the reevaluation of positive beliefs about worry, problem-solving training, and cognitive exposure. As previous studies have established the treatment's efficacy when delivered individually, the present study tests the treatment in a group format as a way to enhance its cost-benefit ratio. A total of 52 GAD patients received 14 sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy in small groups of 4 to 6 participants. A wait-list control design was used, and standardized clinician ratings and self-report questionnaires assessed GAD symptoms, intolerance of uncertainty, anxiety, depression, and social adjustment. Results show that the treatment group, relative to the wait-list group, had greater posttest improvement on all dependent variables and that treated participants made further gains over the 2-year follow-up phase of the study.
Herring, Matthew P.; Kline, Christopher E.; O’Connor, Patrick J.
Statement of the Problem Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and disturbed sleep are prevalent, debilitating, and frequently comorbid problems for which successful treatment remains limited. Exercise can promote sleep but whether it does among GAD patients is unknown. Methods Thirty sedentary women (18–37y) with a primary DSM-IV diagnosis of GAD were randomized to six weeks of resistance (RET) or aerobic exercise training (AET), or waitlist (WL). RET and AET involved twice-weekly sessions of either lower-body weightlifting or leg cycling matched on multiple features of exercise. Outcomes included total sleep time (TST), lights out time, awakening out of bed time, time in bed (TIB), sleep onset latency (SOL), wakefulness after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency. Hedges’ d effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for each exercise condition compared to WL. Regression examined baseline associations between anxiety and sleep and associated change. Results Twenty-two of 26 participants reported poor baseline sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index >5). RET significantly decreased weekend TIB (d=−1.79; [−2.89, −0.70]) and SOL (d=−1.30; [−2.32, −0.28]), and significantly increased weekend sleep efficiency (d=1.30; [0.29,2.32]). AET significantly reduced weekend TIB (d=−1.13; [−2.16, −0.11]) and SOL (d=−1.08; [−2.09, −0.06]). Reduced GAD clinical severity rating was significantly associated with improved weekend sleep efficiency among RET (t6=−3.48, p≤0.013). Conclusions Short-term exercise training improves sleep outcomes among GAD patients, especially for RET and weekend sleep. Findings suggest improved sleep may be associated with reduced clinical severity among GAD patients. PMID:26566400
Hershenberg, Rachel; Gros, Daniel F; Brawman-Mintzer, Olga
Evidence-based treatment approaches for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) comprise psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or a combination of the two. First-line pharmacotherapy agents include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and, in certain European guidelines, pregabalin, which gained European Commission approval. Although short- and long-term efficacy have been established for these agents in controlled trials, response rates of 60-70 % are insufficient, remission rates are relatively modest, and relapse rates considerable. Moreover, questions increasingly arise regarding tolerability and side-effect profiles. As an alternative, antipsychotics have long been of interest for the treatment of anxiety disorders, but investigation had been tempered by their potential for irreversible side effects. With the improved side-effect profiles of atypical antipsychotics, these agents are increasingly being investigated across Axis I disorders. Atypical antipsychotics such as quetiapine, aripiprazole, olanzapine, and risperidone have been shown to be helpful in addressing a range of anxiety and depressive symptoms in individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders, and have since been used in the treatment of a range of mood and anxiety disorders. In this article, we review the efficacy and tolerability of atypical antipsychotics as adjunctive therapy and/or monotherapy for individuals with GAD, a currently off-label indication. The most evidence has accumulated for quetiapine. Findings suggest that approximately 50 % of participants tolerate the side effects, most commonly sedation and fatigue. Among this subset, those who continue treatment demonstrate significant reductions in anxiety when used as adjunctive therapy or monotherapy. The appropriateness of the use of antipsychotics in the treatment of GAD is discussed.
Aldao, Amelia; Mennin, Douglas S
Recent models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have expanded on Borkovec's avoidance theory by delineating emotion regulation deficits associated with the excessive worry characteristic of this disorder (see Behar, DiMarco, Hekler, Mohlman, & Staples, 2009). However, it has been difficult to determine whether emotion regulation is simply a useful heuristic for the avoidant properties of worry or an important extension to conceptualizations of GAD. Some of this difficulty may arise from a focus on purported maladaptive regulation strategies, which may be confounded with symptomatic distress components of the disorder (such as worry). We examined the implementation of adaptive regulation strategies by participants with and without a diagnosis of GAD while watching emotion-eliciting film clips. In a between-subjects design, participants were randomly assigned to accept, reappraise, or were not given specific regulation instructions. Implementation of adaptive regulation strategies produced differential effects in the physiological (but not subjective) domain across diagnostic groups. Whereas participants with GAD demonstrated lower cardiac flexibility when implementing adaptive regulation strategies than when not given specific instructions on how to regulate, healthy controls showed the opposite pattern, suggesting they benefited from the use of adaptive regulation strategies. We discuss the implications of these findings for the delineation of emotion regulation deficits in psychopathology.
Eagleson, Claire; Hayes, Sarra; Mathews, Andrew; Perman, Gemma; Hirsch, Colette R
Worry in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), takes a predominantly verbal form, as if talking to oneself about possible negative outcomes. The current study examined alternative approaches to reducing worry by allocating volunteers with GAD to conditions in which they either practiced replacing the usual form of worry with images of possible positive outcomes, or with the same positive outcomes represented verbally. A comparison control condition involved generating positive images not related to worries. Participants received training in the designated method and then practiced it for one week, before attending for reassessment, and completing follow-up questionnaires four weeks later. All groups benefited from training, with decreases in anxiety and worry, and no significant differences between groups. The replacement of worry with different forms of positive ideation, even when unrelated to the content of worry itself, seems to have similar beneficial effects, suggesting that any form of positive ideation can be used to effectively counter worry.
Tran, Allen L
This article examines two forms of the medicalization of worry in an outpatient psychiatric clinic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Biomedical psychiatrists understand patients' symptoms as manifestations of the excessive worry associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Drawing on an ethnopsychology of emotion that reflects increasingly popular models of neoliberal selfhood, these psychiatrists encourage patients to frame psychic distress in terms of private feelings to address the conditions in their lives that lead to chronic anxiety. However, most patients attribute their symptoms to neurasthenia instead of GAD. Differences between doctors' and patients' explanatory models are not just rooted in their understandings of illness but also in their respective conceptualizations of worry in terms of emotion and sentiment. Patients with neurasthenia reject doctors' attempts to psychologize distress and maintain a model of worry that supports a sense of moral selfhood based on notions of obligation and sacrifice.
Zozulia, A A; Neznamov, G G; Siuniakov, T S; Kost, N V; Gabaeva, M V; Sokolov, O Iu; Serebriakova, E V; Siranchieva, O A; Andriushenko, A V; Telesheva, E S; Siuniakov, S A; Smulevich, A B; Miasoedov, N F; Seredenin, S B
Sixty-two patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and neurasthenia were studied. The effect of selank (30 patients) was compared to that of medazepam (32 patients). Patient's state was assessed with psychometric scales (Hamilton, Zung, CGI). Enkephalin activity in the blood serum was measured as well. The anxiolytic effects of both drugs were similar but selank had also antiasthenic and psychostimulant effects. The clinical-biological study revealed that patients with GAD and neurasthenia had the decreased level of tau(1/2) leu-enkephalin which was correlated with disease duration, severity of symptoms related to anxiety and asthenia and autonomic disorders. The increase of this parameter and stronger positive correlations with anxiety level were observed during the treatment with selank mostly in patients with GAD.
Barrera, Terri L.; Zeno, Darrell; Bush, Amber L.; Barber, Catherine R.; Stanley, Melinda A.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is common in older adults and, although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an efficacious treatment for late-life GAD, effect sizes are only moderate and attrition rates are high. One way to increase treatment acceptability and enhance current cognitive behavioral treatments for GAD in older adults might be to…
McBride, Michon Elizabeth
A generalized anxiety disorder diagnosis must include thorough history-taking, the use of age-appropriate screening tools, and physical assessment. Research and development into the use of screening tools and effectiveness of treatment strategies for generalized anxiety disorder is needed to better manage adolescents with the disorder.
Lee, Siau Pheng; Sagayadevan, Vathsala; Abdin, Edimansyah; Vaingankar, Janhavi Ajit; Chong, Siow Ann; Subramaniam, Mythily
Despite its pervasiveness and associated impairment, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) remains a poorly recognized disorder. Furthermore, given that GAD has been relatively understudied in Asia, the current study examined the prevalence, correlates and co-morbid conditions of this disorder in a multi-ethnic population of Singapore. Data was utilized from the Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS), a cross-sectional epidemiological survey conducted among the adult population (n=6616) aged 18 years and above. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (CIDI v3.0) was used to assess co-morbidity as well as the life-time and 12-month prevalence of disorders. Functional impairment and treatment-seeking behavior were also assessed. The life-time (0.9%) and 12-month (0.4%) prevalence estimates in the current study were found to be lower than those reported in Western populations but comparable to the prevalence estimates found in Asian countries. The relatively lower prevalence rate of GAD in this study suggests the possible role of culture in reporting and manifestation of anxiety symptomatology. The failure of a substantial proportion of individuals to seek treatment despite self-reported impairment was also identified as an area of concern.
Perna, Giampaolo; Alciati, Alessandra; Riva, Alice; Micieli, Wilma; Caldirola, Daniela
Many aspects of long-term pharmacological treatments for anxiety disorders (AnxDs) are still debated. We undertook an updated systematic review of long-term pharmacological studies on panic disorder (PD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Relevant studies dating from January 1, 2012 to August 31, 2015 were identified using the PubMed database and a review of bibliographies. Of 372 records identified in the search, five studies on PD and 15 on GAD were included in the review. No studies on SAD were found. Our review confirms the usefulness of long-term pharmacological treatments for PD and GAD and suggests that they can provide further improvement over that obtained during short-term therapy. Paroxetine, escitalopram, and clonazepam can be effective for long-term treatment of PD. However, further studies are needed to draw conclusions about the long-term benzodiazepine use in PD, particularly for the possible cognitive side-effects over time. Pregabalin and quetiapine can be effective for long-term treatment of GAD, while preliminary suggestions emerged for agomelatine and vortioxetine. We did not find any evidence for determining the optimal length and/or dosage of medications to minimize the relapse risk. Few investigations have attempted to identify potential predictors of long-term treatment response. Personalized treatments for AnxDs can be implemented using predictive tools to explore those factors affecting treatment response/tolerability heterogeneity, including neurobiological functions/clinical profiles, comorbidity, biomarkers, and genetic features, and to tailor medications according to each patient's unique features.
Holl, Anna K; Grohmann, Renate; Letmaier, Martin; Painold, Annamaria; Mörkl, Sabrina; Toto, Sermin; Kasper, Siegfried
Over the past years, international treatment guidelines have been established for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Nevertheless, little is known as to whether the actual inpatient treatment follows these guidelines. The main goal of this study was to answer the question whether patients with anxiety disorder are treated according to treatment guidelines. A total of 2,573 psychiatric inpatients with the diagnosis of anxiety disorder (920 men, 1,653 women) were identified on the basis of the data of the international drug safety programme in psychiatry AMSP. Of these patients, 25.3% presented with phobia, 26.6% with panic disorder, 18.7% with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and 29.4% with other diagnoses of anxiety. In all of the patients, 12.7% did not receive any psychotropic medication and 22.9% were not treated with antidepressants. Only 59.3% of patients with GAD, 73.9% of patients with panic disorder, and 52.1% of patients with phobia were treated according to diagnostic guidelines. The majority (60.3%) of all patients received one or two psychotropic drugs, and only 3.7% received five or more psychotropic drugs. In two groups of patients (one group with phobia and one with panic disorder), the annual prescription rate of antidepressants significantly increased over time. The prescription rate for anticonvulsants in patients with GAD increased from 0% in 1997 to 41.7% in 2011, and for antipsychotics, from 40.7% in 1997 to 47.2% in 2011. In particular, patients with GAD were commonly treated with antipsychotics.
Li, Wei; Cui, Huiru; Zhu, Zhipei; Kong, Li; Guo, Qian; Zhu, Yikang; Hu, Qiang; Zhang, Lanlan; Li, Hui; Li, Qingwei; Jiang, Jiangling; Meyers, Jordan; Li, Jianqi; Wang, Jijun; Yang, Zhi; Li, Chunbo
The amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) play important roles in “emotion dysregulation,” which has a profound impact on etiologic research of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The present study analyzed both eyes-open and eyes-closed resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) of 43 subjects (21 GAD patients with medicine free and 22 matched healthy controls). The amygdala and the DLPFC were defined as regions of interest (ROI) to analyze functional connectivity (FC) in GAD patients compared with healthy controls. The main findings revealed GAD patients had increased FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole compared to healthy controls, which was found in both eyes-open and eyes-closed rs-fMRI. And altered FC between the ROIs and brain regions that mainly belonged to the default mode network (DMN) were found. These findings suggest that the abnormal FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole may contribute to the pathophysiology of GAD, and provide insights into the current understanding of the emotion dysregulation of anxiety disorders. PMID:27867352
Li, Wei; Cui, Huiru; Zhu, Zhipei; Kong, Li; Guo, Qian; Zhu, Yikang; Hu, Qiang; Zhang, Lanlan; Li, Hui; Li, Qingwei; Jiang, Jiangling; Meyers, Jordan; Li, Jianqi; Wang, Jijun; Yang, Zhi; Li, Chunbo
The amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) play important roles in "emotion dysregulation," which has a profound impact on etiologic research of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The present study analyzed both eyes-open and eyes-closed resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) of 43 subjects (21 GAD patients with medicine free and 22 matched healthy controls). The amygdala and the DLPFC were defined as regions of interest (ROI) to analyze functional connectivity (FC) in GAD patients compared with healthy controls. The main findings revealed GAD patients had increased FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole compared to healthy controls, which was found in both eyes-open and eyes-closed rs-fMRI. And altered FC between the ROIs and brain regions that mainly belonged to the default mode network (DMN) were found. These findings suggest that the abnormal FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole may contribute to the pathophysiology of GAD, and provide insights into the current understanding of the emotion dysregulation of anxiety disorders.
Arnaudova, Inna; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Effting, Marieke; Boddez, Yannick; Kindt, Merel; Beckers, Tom
Complex fear learning procedures might be better suited than the common differential fear-conditioning paradigm for detecting individual differences related to vulnerability for anxiety disorders. Two such procedures are the blocking procedure and the protection-from-overshadowing procedure. Their comparison allows for the examination of discriminatory fear learning under conditions of ambiguity. The present study examined the role of individual differences in such discriminatory fear learning. We hypothesized that heightened trait anxiety would be related to a deficit in discriminatory fear learning. Participants gave US-expectancy ratings as an index for the threat value of individual CSs following blocking and protection-from-overshadowing training. The difference in threat value at test between the protected-from-overshadowing conditioned stimulus (CS) and the blocked CS was negatively correlated with scores on a self-report tension-stress scale that approximates facets of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-Stress (DASS-S), but not with other individual difference variables. In addition, a behavioral test showed that only participants scoring high on the DASS-S avoided the protected-from-overshadowing CS. This observed deficit in discriminatory fear learning for participants with high levels of tension-stress might be an underlying mechanism for fear overgeneralization in diffuse anxiety disorders such as GAD.
Arnaudova, Inna; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Effting, Marieke; Boddez, Yannick; Kindt, Merel; Beckers, Tom
Complex fear learning procedures might be better suited than the common differential fear-conditioning paradigm for detecting individual differences related to vulnerability for anxiety disorders. Two such procedures are the blocking procedure and the protection-from-overshadowing procedure. Their comparison allows for the examination of discriminatory fear learning under conditions of ambiguity. The present study examined the role of individual differences in such discriminatory fear learning. We hypothesized that heightened trait anxiety would be related to a deficit in discriminatory fear learning. Participants gave US-expectancy ratings as an index for the threat value of individual CSs following blocking and protection-from-overshadowing training. The difference in threat value at test between the protected-from-overshadowing conditioned stimulus (CS) and the blocked CS was negatively correlated with scores on a self-report tension-stress scale that approximates facets of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-Stress (DASS-S), but not with other individual difference variables. In addition, a behavioral test showed that only participants scoring high on the DASS-S avoided the protected-from-overshadowing CS. This observed deficit in discriminatory fear learning for participants with high levels of tension-stress might be an underlying mechanism for fear overgeneralization in diffuse anxiety disorders such as GAD. PMID:23755030
Moon, Chung-Man; Jeong, Gwang-Woo
Background Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has been related to functional brain activities and structural brain abnormalities. Purpose To investigate the neural mechanism on working memory dysfunction in patients with GAD in terms of the combined functional and morphological brain abnormalities. Material and Methods Patients with GAD and healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education level underwent high-resolution T1-weighted (T1W) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI). In this study, fMRI and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) were used for assessing the differential brain activation patterns, as well as for comparing the morphological alterations between the two groups. Results In response to the neutral distractors, the patients showed significantly lower activities in the regions of the fusiform gyrus (FuG), superior parietal gyrus (SPG), precuneus (PCu), superior occipital gyrus (SOG), lingual gyrus (LiG), cuneus (Cun), calcarine cortex (CaC), parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) and cerebellar cortex (Cb) compared to the controls. In response to the anxiety-inducing distractors, the patients showed significantly higher activity in the hippocampus and lower activities in the regions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), FuG, SPG, PCu, SOG, and Cb. Also, the patients showed a significant reduction of the white matter volumes in the DLPFC, anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) and midbrain. Conclusion This study provides the first evidence for the association between the morphometric alterations and functional deficit in the working memory processing with the neutral and anxiety-inducing distractors in GAD patients. These findings would be helpful to understand the neural mechanisms on working memory impairment in connection with GAD symptoms.
Batterham, Philip J; Griffiths, Kathleen M; Barney, Lisa J; Parsons, Alison
The stigma associated with mental illness can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including delaying or avoiding help seeking. Identifying the characteristics of people who are more likely to hold stigmatizing attitudes enables the development of targeted stigma reduction programs. However, no previous research has systematically examined the predictors of anxiety stigma. This study used the Generalized Anxiety Stigma Scale (GASS) to assess the predictors of personal stigma and perceived stigma associated with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. A community sample of 617 Australian adults completed a survey that included the GASS, the Depression Stigma Scale, exposure to anxiety disorders, emotional distress and a range of demographic characteristics. Linear regression models indicated that women, people with greater exposure to anxiety disorders and people reporting a previous anxiety diagnosis had lower personal stigma toward anxiety. Higher exposure to anxiety disorders and rurality were significantly associated with higher perceived anxiety stigma. Results also suggested that respondents who had only been exposed to anxiety disorders through the media tended to be no more stigmatizing than respondents who had direct contact with people with an anxiety disorder. Media campaigns may be an effective vehicle for decreasing stigmatizing views in the community.
Steiner, Amanda R W; Petkus, Andrew J; Nguyen, Hoang; Wetherell, Julie Loebach
Information processing bias was evaluated in a sample of 25 older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) over the course of 12 weeks of escitalopram pharmacotherapy. Using the CANTAB Affective Go/No Go test, treatment response (as measured by the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Penn State Worry Questionnaire, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale) was predicted from a bias score (i.e., difference score between response latencies for negative and positive words) using mixed-models regression. A more positive bias score across time predicted better response to treatment. Faster responses to positive words relative to negative words were associated with greater symptomatic improvement over time as reflected by scores on the GADSS. There was a trend toward significance for PSWQ scores and no significant effects related to HAMA outcomes. These preliminary findings offer further insights into the role of biased cognitive processing of emotional material in the manifestation of late-life anxiety symptoms.
Cuijpers, Pim; Sijbrandij, Marit; Koole, Sander; Huibers, Marcus; Berking, Matthias; Andersson, Gerhard
Recent years have seen a near-doubling of the number of studies examining the effects of psychotherapies for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults. The present article integrates this new evidence with the older literature through a quantitative meta-analysis. A total of 41 studies (with 2132 patients meeting diagnostic criteria for GAD) were identified through systematic searches in bibliographical databases, and were included in the meta-analysis. Most studies examined the effects of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The majority of studies used waiting lists as control condition. The pooled effect of the 38 comparisons (from 28 studies) of psychotherapy versus a control group was large (g=0.84; 95% CI: 0.71-0.97) with low to moderate heterogeneity. The effects based on self-report measures were somewhat lower than those based on clinician-rated instruments. The effects on depression were also large (g=0.71; 95% CI: 0.59-0.82). There were some indications for publication bias. The number of studies comparing CBT with other psychotherapies (e.g., applied relaxation) or pharmacotherapy was too small to draw conclusions about comparative effectiveness or the long-term effects. There were some indications that CBT was also effective at follow-up and that CBT was more effective than applied relaxation in the longer term.
Verduin, Timothy L.; Kendall, Philip C.
Examined three aspects of childhood anxiety and peer liking: (1) whether or not children can detect anxiety in age-mates, (2) the degree to which peer-reported anxiety, self-reported anxiety, and presence of anxiety disorders are associated with peer liking, and (3) whether or not self-reported anxiety and presence of anxiety disorders are…
Fulford, Daniel; Rosen, Rebecca K.; Johnson, Sheri L.; Carver, Charles S.
The tendency to generalize from a single failure to one's entire self-worth is an important correlate and predictor of depression. Despite conceptual overlap between cognitive biases in anxiety and depression, little research has examined whether negative generalization relates to anxiety symptoms. We examined associations of negative generalization with symptoms of several anxiety disorders, above and beyond its association with lifetime symptoms of depression, among 248 undergraduates. After controlling for lifetime symptoms of major depression, negative generalization was significantly correlated with symptoms of each anxiety disorder tested, most notably generalized anxiety and social phobia. PMID:24340170
Koerner, Naomi; Mejia, Teresa; Kusec, Andrea
A number of studies have examined the association of intolerance of uncertainty (IU) to trait worry and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, few studies have examined the extent of overlap between IU and other psychological constructs that bear conceptual resemblance to IU, despite the fact that IU-type constructs have been discussed and examined extensively within psychology and other disciplines. The present study investigated (1) the associations of IU, trait worry, and GAD status to a negative risk orientation, trait curiosity, indecisiveness, perceived constraints, self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism, intolerance of ambiguity, the need for predictability, and the need for order and structure and (2) whether IU is a unique correlate of trait worry and of the presence versus absence of Probable GAD, when overlap with other uncertainty-relevant constructs is accounted for. N = 255 adults completed self-report measures of the aforementioned constructs. Each of the constructs was significantly associated with IU. Only IU, and a subset of the other uncertainty-relevant constructs were correlated with trait worry or distinguished the Probable GAD group from the Non-GAD group. IU was the strongest unique correlate of trait worry and of the presence versus absence of Probable GAD. Indecisiveness, self-oriented perfectionism and the need for predictability were also unique correlates of trait worry or GAD status. Implications of the findings are discussed, in particular as they pertain to the definition, conceptualization, and cognitive-behavioral treatment of IU in GAD.
Teng, Cindy; Otero, Marcela; Geraci, Marilla; Blair, R J R; Pine, Daniel S; Grillon, Christian; Blair, Karina S
There is preliminary data indicating that patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) show impairment on decision-making tasks requiring the appropriate representation of reinforcement value. The current study aimed to extend this literature using the passive avoidance (PA) learning task, where the participant has to learn to respond to stimuli that engender reward and avoid responding to stimuli that engender punishment. Six stimuli engendering reward and six engendering punishment are presented once per block for 10 blocks of trials. Thirty-nine medication-free patients with GAD and 29 age-, IQ and gender matched healthy comparison individuals performed the task. In addition, indexes of social functioning as assessed by the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale were obtained to allow for correlational analyzes of potential relations between cognitive and social impairments. The results revealed a Group-by-Error Type-by-Block interaction; patients with GAD committed significantly more commission (passive avoidance) errors than comparison individuals in the later blocks (blocks 7,8, and 9). In addition, the extent of impairment on these blocks was associated with their functional impairment as measured by the GAF scale. These results link GAD with anomalous decision-making and indicate that a potential problem in reinforcement representation may contribute to the severity of expression of their disorder.
Teng, Cindy; Otero, Marcela; Geraci, Marilla; Blair, R.J.R.; Pine, Daniel S.; Grillon, Christian; Blair, Karina S.
There is preliminary data indicating that patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) show impairment on decision-making tasks requiring the appropriate representation of reinforcement value. The current study aimed to extend this literature using the passive avoidance (PA) learning task, where the participant has to learn to respond to stimuli that engender reward and avoid responding to stimuli that engender punishment. Six stimuli engendering reward and six engendering punishment are presented once per block for 10 blocks of trials. Thirty-nine medication-free patients with GAD and 29 age-, IQ and gender matched healthy comparison individuals performed the task. In addition, indexes of social functioning as assessed by the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale were obtained to allow for correlational analyzes of potential relations between cognitive and social impairments. The results revealed a Group-by-Error Type-by-Block interaction; patients with GAD committed significantly more commission (passive avoidance) errors than comparison individuals in the later blocks (blocks 7,8, and 9). In addition, the extent of impairment on these blocks was associated with their functional impairment as measured by the GAF scale. These results link GAD with anomalous decision-making and indicate that a potential problem in reinforcement representation may contribute to the severity of expression of their disorder. PMID:26822065
Rotberg, Benyamin; Schoen, Gila; Zalsman, Gil
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses in children and adolescents. They are associated with significant distress and impairment. Most of the children and adolescents with anxiety disorders are not detected and only a minority receives adequate treatment. Anxious children and adolescents often follow a chronic course of disease with elevated risk of depressive disorders, substance abuse and even suicide. Risk factors for anxiety disorders are complex and consist of intricate interplay of multiple factors, including genetic makeup and environmental risks. Effective, evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents consist of cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy with serotonin specific reuptake inhibitors. Further research is needed to design high-quality screening tools for anxiety disorders in the primary care setting.
Wingo, Aliza P.; Gibson, Greg
Prospective epidemiological studies found that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can impair immune function and increase risk for cardiovascular disease or events. Mechanisms underlying the physiological reverberations of anxiety, however, are still elusive. Hence, we aimed to investigate molecular processes mediating effects of anxiety on physical health using blood gene expression profiles of 336 community participants (157 anxious and 179 control). We examined genome-wide differential gene expression in anxiety, as well as associations between nine major modules of co-regulated transcripts in blood gene expression and anxiety. No significant differential expression was observed in women, but 631 genes were differentially expressed between anxious and control men at the false discovery rate of 0.1 after controlling for age, body mass index, race, and batch effect. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed that genes with altered expression levels in anxious men were involved in response of various immune cells to vaccination and to acute viral and bacterial infection, and in a metabolic network affecting traits of metabolic syndrome. Further, we found one set of 260 co-regulated genes to be significantly associated with anxiety in men after controlling for the relevant covariates, and demonstrate its equivalence to a component of the stress-related conserved transcriptional response to adversity profile. Taken together, our results suggest potential molecular pathways that can explain negative effects of GAD observed in epidemiological studies. Remarkably, even mild anxiety, which most of our participants had, was associated with observable changes in immune-related gene expression levels. Our findings generate hypotheses and provide incremental insights into molecular mechanisms mediating negative physiological effects of GAD. PMID:25300922
Wingo, Aliza P; Gibson, Greg
Prospective epidemiological studies found that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can impair immune function and increase risk for cardiovascular disease or events. Mechanisms underlying the physiological reverberations of anxiety, however, are still elusive. Hence, we aimed to investigate molecular processes mediating effects of anxiety on physical health using blood gene expression profiles of 336 community participants (157 anxious and 179 control). We examined genome-wide differential gene expression in anxiety, as well as associations between nine major modules of co-regulated transcripts in blood gene expression and anxiety. No significant differential expression was observed in women, but 631 genes were differentially expressed between anxious and control men at the false discovery rate of 0.1 after controlling for age, body mass index, race, and batch effect. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed that genes with altered expression levels in anxious men were involved in response of various immune cells to vaccination and to acute viral and bacterial infection, and in a metabolic network affecting traits of metabolic syndrome. Further, we found one set of 260 co-regulated genes to be significantly associated with anxiety in men after controlling for the relevant covariates, and demonstrate its equivalence to a component of the stress-related conserved transcriptional response to adversity profile. Taken together, our results suggest potential molecular pathways that can explain negative effects of GAD observed in epidemiological studies. Remarkably, even mild anxiety, which most of our participants had, was associated with observable changes in immune-related gene expression levels. Our findings generate hypotheses and provide incremental insights into molecular mechanisms mediating negative physiological effects of GAD.
van Eijck, Fenna E A M; Branje, Susan J T; Hale, William W; Meeus, Wim H J
This longitudinal study examined the direction of effects between adolescents' generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms and perceived parent-adolescent attachment relationship quality, as well as the moderating role of gender and age. 1,313 Dutch adolescents (48.5% boys) from two age cohorts of early (n = 923, M(age) = 12 at W1) and middle (n = 390, M(age) = 16 at W1) adolescents completed questionnaires regarding their attachment relationship to parents and GAD symptoms in four waves. Cross-lagged path analyses demonstrated that adolescents' GAD symptoms and perceived father-adolescent attachment relationship quality bidirectionally negatively affected each other over time. For mothers, adolescents' GAD symptoms negatively predicted perceived mother-adolescent attachment relationship quality over time. The within-wave correlated residuals between perceived attachment relationship quality with fathers and GAD symptoms were stronger for boys than for girls and stronger for the cohort of middle adolescents than for the cohort of early adolescents. This study demonstrates that both the parents' and the adolescents' gender as well as the adolescents' age affects the relation between adolescents' GAD symptoms and perceived parent-adolescent attachment relationship quality.
Cuijpers, Pim; Cristea, Ioana A.; Karyotaki, Eirini; Reijnders, Mirjam; Huibers, Marcus J.H.
We report the current best estimate of the effects of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in the treatment of major depression (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD), taking into account publication bias, the quality of trials, and the influence of waiting list control groups on the outcomes. In our meta‐analyses, we included randomized trials comparing CBT with a control condition (waiting list, care‐as‐usual or pill placebo) in the acute treatment of MDD, GAD, PAD or SAD, diagnosed on the basis of a structured interview. We found that the overall effects in the 144 included trials (184 comparisons) for all four disorders were large, ranging from g=0.75 for MDD to g=0.80 for GAD, g=0.81 for PAD, and g=0.88 for SAD. Publication bias mostly affected the outcomes of CBT in GAD (adjusted g=0.59) and MDD (adjusted g=0.65), but not those in PAD and SAD. Only 17.4% of the included trials were considered to be high‐quality, and this mostly affected the outcomes for PAD (g=0.61) and SAD (g=0.76). More than 80% of trials in anxiety disorders used waiting list control groups, and the few studies using other control groups pointed at much smaller effect sizes for CBT. We conclude that CBT is probably effective in the treatment of MDD, GAD, PAD and SAD; that the effects are large when the control condition is waiting list, but small to moderate when it is care‐as‐usual or pill placebo; and that, because of the small number of high‐quality trials, these effects are still uncertain and should be considered with caution. PMID:27717254
Alkozei, Anna; Creswell, Cathy; Cooper, Peter J.; Allen, John J.B.
Background Psychophysiological theories suggest that individuals with anxiety disorders may evidence inflexibility in their autonomic activity at rest and when responding to stressors. In addition, theories of social anxiety disorder, in particular, highlight the importance of physical symptoms. Research on autonomic activity in childhood (social) anxiety disorders, however, is scarce and has produced inconsistent findings, possibly because of methodological limitations. Method The present study aimed to account for limitations of previous studies and measured respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and heart rate (HR) using Actiheart heart rate monitors and software (Version 4) during rest and in response to a social and a non-social stressor in 60 anxious (30 socially anxious and 30 ‘other’ anxious), and 30 nonanxious sex-and age-matched 7–12 year olds. In addition, the effect of state anxiety during the tasks was explored. Results No group differences at rest or in response to stress were found. Importantly, however, with increases in state anxiety, all children, regardless of their anxiety diagnoses showed less autonomic responding (i.e., less change in HR and RSA from baseline in response to task) and took longer to recover once the stressor had passed. Limitations This study focused primarily on parasympathetic arousal and lacked measures of sympathetic arousal. Conclusion The findings suggest that childhood anxiety disorders may not be characterized by inflexible autonomic responding, and that previous findings to the contrary may have been the result of differences in subjective anxiety between anxious and nonanxious groups during the tasks, rather than a function of chronic autonomic dysregulation. PMID:25590763
Jockers-Scherübl, Maria C; Zubraegel, Doris; Baer, Thomas; Linden, Michael; Danker-Hopfe, Heidi; Schulte-Herbrüggen, Olaf; Neu, Peter; Hellweg, Rainer
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic stress disease with permanent physical tension and cognitive strain. Raised nerve growth factor (NGF) serum levels were reported as an acute stress reaction in soldiers before their first parachute jump even before the rise in cortisol. Taking GAD as a clinical model of chronic stress, we measured NGF in the serum of 22 patients with GAD before and after cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and compared them to those of healthy normal controls. Treatment response was tested by the values of the State and Trait of Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) as treatment outcome variables. The NGF values of patients and controls were similar at baseline (p=0.8941); however, with successful treatment, corresponding to a mean reduction in the HAM-A by more than 50% and a reduction in the clinical global impression scale (CGI) median from 4 to 1, the patients' NGF serum concentrations rose significantly (p=0.0006) which might correspond to an altered stress reaction, possibly contributing to good therapeutic response with CBT. There were 3 patients with a HAM-A decrease of less than 15%. In those patients NGF rose only marginally. Hence, the increase in serum NGF seems to indicate good treatment response.
Morissette, Sandra Baker; Tull, Matthew T.; Gulliver, Suzy Bird; Kamholz, Barbara Wolfsdorf; Zimering, Rose T.
Smoking is highly prevalent across most anxiety disorders. Tobacco use increases risk for the later development of certain anxiety disorders, and smokers with anxiety disorders have more severe withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation than smokers without anxiety disorders. The authors critically examined the relationships among anxiety,…
Ebesutani, Chad; Bernstein, Adam; Nakamura, Brad J.; Chorpita, Bruce F.; Weisz, John R.
The Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale-Parent Version (RCADS-P) is a 47-item parent-report questionnaire of youth anxiety and depression, with scales corresponding to the DSM-IV categories of Separation Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Major Depressive…
Mills, Sarah D; Fox, Rina S; Malcarne, Vanessa L; Roesch, Scott C; Champagne, Brian R; Sadler, Georgia Robins
The Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale (GAD-7) is a self-report questionnaire that is widely used to screen for anxiety. The GAD-7 has been translated into numerous languages, including Spanish. Previous studies evaluating the structural validity of the English and Spanish versions indicate a unidimensional factor structure in both languages. However, the psychometric properties of the Spanish language version have yet to be evaluated in samples outside of Spain, and the measure has not been tested for use among Hispanic Americans. This study evaluated the reliability, structural validity, and convergent validity of the English and Spanish language versions of the GAD-7 for Hispanic Americans in the United States. A community sample of 436 Hispanic Americans with an English (n = 210) or Spanish (n = 226) language preference completed the GAD-7. Multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine the goodness-of-fit of the unidimensional factor structure of the GAD-7 across language-preference groups. Results from the multiple-group CFA indicated a similar unidimensional factor structure with equivalent response patterns and item intercepts, but different variances, across language-preference groups. Internal consistency was good for both English and Spanish language-preference groups. The GAD-7 also evidenced good convergent validity as demonstrated by significant correlations in expected directions with the Perceived Stress Scale, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Physical Health domain of the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF assessment. The unidimensional GAD-7 is suitable for use among Hispanic Americans with an English or Spanish language preference.
Bičíková, M; Dušková, M; Vítků, J; Kalvachová, B; Řípová, D; Mohr, P; Stárka, L
Reduced levels of vitamin or its metabolites have been reported in various psychiatric disorders. Insufficient levels of vitamin D in depressive patients have been confirmed by many authors, but there have been conflicting results in subjects with anxiety disorders. In the present cross-sectional study, levels of calcidiol were determined in groups of depressive men and women and in men and women with anxiety disorders and compared with age matched controls. Significantly lower levels of calcidiol were found in men and women with depression as well as in age matched patients with anxiety disorders.
Shorey, Ryan C; Elmquist, Joanna; Anderson, Scott; Stuart, Gregory L
Previous research has shown that early maladaptive schemas (EMS) play an important role in substance use, depression, and anxiety. However, few studies have examined the role of EMS within the context of all three concurrently. The goal of this study was to determine the role of EMS in predicting symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) among adults in residential treatment for substance dependence. We used pre-existing patient records of adults diagnosed with a substance use disorder from a residential substance use treatment facility (N=122). The EMS domains of disconnection and rejection and impaired limits were associated with symptoms of MDD and the domain of impaired autonomy and performance was associated with symptoms of GAD, even after controlling for age, gender, years of education, alcohol use, drug use, and symptoms of MDD (when predicting GAD) and GAD (when predicting MDD). Findings suggest that EMS may play an important role in comorbid mental health problems among men and women in residential substance use treatment. Continued treatment outcome research is needed to examine whether modification of EMS results in improved mental health and substance use outcomes.
Hogendoorn, Sanne M; Prins, Pier J M; Vervoort, Leentje; Wolters, Lidewij H; Nauta, Maaike H; Hartman, Catharina A; Moorlag, Harma; de Haan, Else; Boer, Frits
Negatively valenced thoughts are assumed to play a central role in the development and maintenance of anxiety. However, the role of positive thoughts in anxiety is rather unclear. In the current study we examined the role of negative and positive self-statements in the anxiety level of anxious and non-anxious children. Participants were 139 anxiety disordered children and 293 non-anxious children (8-18 years). Compared to non-anxious children, anxious children reported more negative thoughts, less positive thoughts and lower State of Mind (SOM) ratios (ratio of positive to negative thoughts). Negative thoughts and SOM ratios were the strongest predictors of anxiety level in anxious children; whereas both negative and positive thoughts were the strongest predictors of anxiety level in non-anxious children. To conclude, a lack of positive thoughts might be more than just an epiphenomenon of anxiety level and might deserve a place in the cognitive model of anxiety.
Newman, Michelle G.; Castonguay, Louis G.; Borkovec, Thomas D.; Fisher, Aaron J.; Boswell, James F.; Szkodny, Lauren E.; Nordberg, Samuel S.
Objective: Recent models suggest that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms may be maintained by emotional processing avoidance and interpersonal problems. Method: This is the first randomized controlled trial to test directly whether cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) could be augmented with the addition of a module targeting interpersonal…
Rogers, Katherine D.; Young, Alys; Lovell, Karina; Campbell, Malcolm; Scott, Paul R.; Kendal, Sarah
The present study is aimed to translate 3 widely used clinical assessment measures into British Sign Language (BSL), to pilot the BSL versions, and to establish their validity and reliability. These were the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale, and the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS).…
Hofmann, Stefan G.; Asnaani, Anu; Hinton, Devon E.
To examine cultural aspects in social anxiety and social anxiety disorder (SAD), we reviewed the literature on the prevalence rates, expressions, and treatments of social anxiety/SAD as they relate to culture, race, and ethnicity. We further reviewed factors that contribute to the differences in social anxiety/SAD between different cultures, including individualism/collectivism, perception of social norms, self-construal, gender roles, and gender role identification. Our review suggests that the prevalence and expression of social anxiety/SAD depends on the particular culture. Asian cultures typically show the lowest rates, whereas Russian and US samples show the highest rates, of SAD. Taijin kyofusho is discussed as a possible culture-specific expression of social anxiety, although the empirical evidence concerning the validity of this syndrome has been mixed. It is concluded that the individual's social concerns need to be examined in the context of the person's cultural, racial, and ethnic background in order to adequately assess the degree and expression of social anxiety and social anxiety disorder. This has direct relevance for the upcoming DSM-V. PMID:21132847
Diefenbach, Gretchen J; Assaf, Michal; Goethe, John W; Gueorguieva, Ralitza; Tolin, David F
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by emotion regulation difficulties, which are associated with abnormalities in neural circuits encompassing fronto-limbic regions including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The aim of this study was to determine whether DLPFC neuromodulation improves emotion regulation in patients with GAD. This is a secondary analysis from a randomized-controlled trial comparing 30 sessions of low-frequency right-sided active (n=13) versus sham (n=12, sham coil) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) at the right DLPFC in patients with GAD. Results indicated statistically significant improvements in self-reported emotion regulation difficulties at posttreatment and 3-month follow-up in the active group only. Improvements were found primarily in the domains of goal-directed behaviors and impulse control and were significantly associated with a global clinician rating of improvement. These preliminary results support rTMS as a treatment for GAD and suggest improved emotion regulation as a possible mechanism of change.
Moon, Chung-Man; Jeong, Gwang-Woo
Background The neuroanatomical abnormalities associated with behavioral dysfunction on explicit memory in patients generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have not yet been clearly identified. Purpose To investigate the regional gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume alterations over the whole brain in patients with GAD, as well as the correlation between the brain structural abnormality and explicit memory dysfunction. Material and Methods Twenty patients with GAD and 20 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education level underwent high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The participants performed the explicit memory tasks with the neutral and anxiety-inducing words. Results Patients with GAD showed significantly reduced GM volumes in the midbrain (MB), thalamus, hippocampus (Hip), insula, and superior temporal gyrus (STG); and reduced WM volumes in the MB, anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and precentral gyrus (PrG). It is important to note that the GM volume of the Hip and the WM volume of the DLPFC were positively correlated with the recognition accuracy (%) in the explicit memory tasks with neutral and anxiety-inducing words, respectively. On the other hand, the WM volume of the PrG was negatively correlated with the reaction time in the same memory tasks. Conclusion This study demonstrated the regional volume changes on whole-brain GM and WM and the correlation between the brain structural alteration and explicit memory dysfunction in GAD patients. These findings would be helpful to understand the association between the brain structure abnormality and the functional deficit in the explicit memory in GAD.
Álvarez, Enrique; Carrasco, Jose L; Olivares, José M; López-Gómez, Vanessa; Vilardaga, Inma; Perez, María
Objective: To elucidate the consequences of broadening DSM-IV criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), we examined prospectively the evolution of GAD symptoms in two groups of patients; one group diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria and the other, according to broader criteria. Method: Multicentre, prospective and observational study conducted on outpatient psychiatric clinics. Patients were selected from October 2007 to January 2009 and diagnosed with GAD according to DSM-IV criteria (DSM-IV group) or broader criteria. Broader criteria were considered 1-month of excessive or non-excessive worry and only 2 of the associated symptoms listed on DSM-IV for GAD diagnosis. Socio-demographic data, medical history and functional outcome measures were collected three times during a 6-month period. Results: 3,549 patients were systematically recruited; 1,815 patients in DSM-IV group (DG) and 1,264 in broad group (BG); 453 patients did not fulfil inclusion criteria and were excluded. Most patients (87.9% in DG, 82.0% in BG) were currently following pharmacological therapies (mainly benzodiazepines) to manage their anxiety symptoms. The changes observed during the study were: 49.0% and 58.0%, respectively of patients without anxiety symptoms as per HAM-A scale at the 6 month visit (p=0.261) and 59.7% and 67.7%, respectively (p=0.103) of responder rates (> 50% reduction of baseline scoring). Conclusion: Broadening of GAD criteria does not seem to affect psychiatric care results in subjects with GAD, is able to identify the core symptoms of the disease according to the DSM-IV criteria and could lead to an earlier diagnosis. PMID:23173012
Stoddard, Joel; Stringaris, Argyris; Brotman, Melissa A; Montville, Daniel; Pine, Daniel S; Leibenluft, Ellen
Background Our objective was to compare self- and parent-reported irritability in youths with anxiety disorders, healthy youths, and those with mood disorders characterized by irritability. Irritability is a common but relatively understudied psychiatric symptom in child and adolescent anxiety disorders. In anxious youths, little is known about the severity of irritability, its impact on functioning, or the effect of informant source on reports of irritability. Methods We compared parent- and self-report forms of the Affective Reactivity Index (ARI), a validated measure of irritability, in youths ages 8–17 years with no psychopathology (healthy comparison, HC; n = 38), anxiety disorders (ANX; n = 42), bipolar disorder (BD; n = 35), or severe mood dysregulation (SMD; n = 61; a phenotype characterized by chronic, severely impairing irritability). Results Irritability was significantly higher in ANX than HC youths by both parent and self-report (partial η2 = 0.24 and 0.22, respectively, P’s < 0.001). Informant effects differed among ANX, BD, and SMD. Overall, parent-reported irritability was higher in BD with comorbid anxiety disorders and SMD with or without comorbid anxiety disorders than ANX (P’s < 0.007), but self-reported irritability was not significantly different among the three patient groups. Discussion By both parent and self-report, youths with anxiety disorders exhibit significantly more irritability and associated impairment than healthy subjects. Self-reported irritability in youths with anxiety disorders is comparable to that observed in youths with severe mood disorders, although parental reports of irritability differ among the disorders. Future research should examine the pathophysiology of anxiety-associated irritability, as well as its prognostic and treatment implications. PMID:23818321
Sarris, Jerome; Stough, Con; Bousman, Chad A; Wahid, Zahra T; Murray, Greg; Teschke, Rolf; Savage, Karen M; Dowell, Ashley; Ng, Chee; Schweitzer, Isaac
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant-based medicine, which has been previously shown to reduce anxiety. To date, however, no placebo-controlled trial assessing kava in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has been completed. A total of 75 participants with GAD and no comorbid mood disorder were enrolled in a 6-week double-blind trial of an aqueous extract of kava (120/240 mg of kavalactones per day depending on response) versus placebo. γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) and noradrenaline transporter polymorphisms were also analyzed as potential pharmacogenetic markers of response. Reduction in anxiety was measured using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA) as the primary outcome. Intention-to-treat analysis was performed on 58 participants who met inclusion criteria after an initial 1 week placebo run-in phase. Results revealed a significant reduction in anxiety for the kava group compared with the placebo group with a moderate effect size (P = 0.046, Cohen d = 0.62). Among participants with moderate to severe Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-diagnosed GAD, this effect was larger (P = 0.02; d = 0.82). At conclusion of the controlled phase, 26% of the kava group were classified as remitted (HAMA ≤ 7) compared with 6% of the placebo group (P = 0.04). Within the kava group, GABA transporter polymorphisms rs2601126 (P = 0.021) and rs2697153 (P = 0.046) were associated with HAMA reduction. Kava was well tolerated, and aside from more headaches reported in the kava group (P = 0.05), no other significant differences between groups occurred for any other adverse effects, nor for liver function tests. Standardized kava may be a moderately effective short-term option for the treatment of GAD. Furthermore, specific GABA transporter polymorphisms appear to potentially modify anxiolytic response to kava.
Dowbiggin, Ian R
Anxiety has always been part of the human condition, with accounts of its various manifestations, including acute shyness and stage fright, dating back to classical antiquity. Nonetheless, since the end of the Second World War, reported levels of anxiety have risen alarmingly. At the beginning of the 21st century, anxiety disorders constitute the most prevalent mental health problem around the globe, afflicting millions of people. What social factors account for this stunning development in the mental health field during the past half century? Some observers target the ever increasing pace and demands of modern life. Nonetheless, a larger body of evidence suggests that the prevalence of anxiety is due less to these pressures themselves than to a prevailing social ethos that teaches people that anxiety-related symptoms are a socially and medically legitimate response to life in the modern age.
Kelly, Maria N
Anxiety disorders are a common group of disorders that must be recognized more frequently by pediatricians. Outcomes can be very successful with prompt recognition and early treatment. For this reason, it is important that pediatricians recognize their central role in integrating sociological, psychological, and biological approaches to treatment. Pediatricians are vital for initial assessment, interventions, management of psychotherapeutic and pharmacotherapeutic treatments, and referral to psychiatrists and psychologists when necessary. An improved understanding of anxiety disorders by pediatricians will lead to improved diagnosis and improved quality of life for many undiagnosed pediatric patients suffering from anxiety.
Shuhama, Rosana; Del-Ben, Cristina M; Loureiro, Sônia R; Graeff, Frederico G
Anxiety disorders are classified according to symptoms, time course and therapeutic response. Concurrently, the experimental analysis of defensive behavior has identified three strategies of defense that are shared by different animal species, triggered by situations of potential, distal and proximal predatory threat, respectively. The first one consists of cautious exploration of the environment for risk assessment. The associated emotion is supposed to be anxiety and its pathology, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The second is manifested by oriented escape or by behavioral inhibition, being related to normal fear and to Specific Phobias, as disorders. The third consists of disorganized flight or complete immobility, associated to dread and Panic Disorder. Among conspecific interactions lies a forth defense strategy, submission, that has been related to normal social anxiety (shyness) and to Social Anxiety Disorder. In turn, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder do not seem to be directly related to innate defense reactions. Such evolutionary approach offers a reliable theoretical framework for the study of the biological determinants of anxiety disorders, and a sound basis for psychiatric classification.
Towe-Goodman, Nissa R.; Franz, Lauren; Copeland, William; Angold, Adrian; Egger, Helen
Objective We examined the perceived impact of child anxiety disorders on family functioning, because such impact is a key predictor of mental health service receipt. Additionally, we examined the relative impact of preschool anxiety compared to other early childhood disorders, and whether this impact persisted after accounting for the effects of comorbidity, or varied by child age and sex. Method Drawing from a pediatric primary-care clinic and oversampling for children at risk for anxiety, 917 parents of preschoolers (ages 2–5 years) completed a diagnostic interview and reported on child psychiatric symptom impact on family finances, relationships, activities, and well-being. Results After accounting for comorbid disorders, families of children with anxiety were 3.5 times more likely to report negative impact of their child’s behavior on the family relative to non-disordered children. Generalized and separation anxiety had a similar impact on family functioning as ADHD and disruptive disorders. There was a significant family impact for girls with social phobia, whereas there was no impact for boys. Conclusions Preschool anxiety has a significant, unique impact on family functioning, particularly parental adjustment, highlighting the family impairment linked with early anxiety, and the need for further research on barriers to care for these disorders. PMID:24655653
Rutherford, Bret R; Bailey, Veronika S.; Schneier, Franklin R.; Pott, Emily; Brown, Patrick J.; Roose, Steven P.
Objective The influence of study design variables and publication year on response to medication and placebo was investigated in clinical trials for social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic disorder (PD). Method Hierarchical linear modeling determined whether publication year, treatment assignment (medication vs. placebo), study type (placebo-controlled or active comparator), study duration, and the number of study visits affected the mean change associated with medication and placebo. Results In the 66 trials examined, the change associated with both medication and placebo increased over time (t = 4.23, df = 39, P < .001), but average drug–placebo differences decreased over time (t = −2.04, df = 46, P = .047). More severe baseline illness was associated with greater drug–placebo differences for serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs, t = 3.46, df = 106, P = .001) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI, t = 10.37, df = 106, P < .001). Improvement with medication was significantly greater in active-comparator studies compared to placebo-controlled trials (t = 3.41, df = 39, P = .002). A greater number of study visits was associated with greater symptom improvement in PD trials relative to SAD (t = 2.83, df = 39, P = .008) and GAD (t = 2.16, df = 39, P= .037). Conclusions Placebo response is substantial in SAD, GAD, and PD trials, and its rise over time has been associated with diminished drug–placebo differences. Study design features that influence treatment response in anxiety disorder trials include patient expectancy, frequency of follow-up visits, and baseline illness severity. PMID:26437267
Kehle, Shannon M
The goal of the current study was to test the generalizability of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a frontline service setting. Twenty-nine patients who presented to treatment clinics with problematic worry were provided CBT for GAD. Among the intent-to-treat sample, there were no significant changes in worry or depression from pre- to posttreatment. Treatment completers showed significant pre- to posttreatment reductions on measures of worry and depression. The magnitude of change was smaller than has been reported in randomized control trials (RCTs). Although the frontline service setting differed from RCT settings in multiple ways, treatment completers nonetheless achieved moderate to large decreases in self-reported worry and depression.
Forbes, Erika E.; Bertocci, Michele A.; Gregory, Alice M.; Ryan, Neal D.; Axelson, David A.; Birmaher, Boris; Dahl, Ronald E.
A study to examine sleep problems encountered in anxiety and depressive disorders among children and adolescents is conducted. Results indicated subjective and objective sleep problems in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and need to be kept in mind when treating young anxious people.
Maddox, Brenna B.; White, Susan W.
Social anxiety symptoms are common among cognitively unimpaired youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Few studies have investigated the co-occurrence of social anxiety disorder (SAD) in adults with ASD, although identification may aid access to effective treatments and inform our scientific efforts to parse heterogeneity. In this preliminary…
Cornacchio, Danielle; Crum, Kathleen I.; Coxe, Stefany; Pincus, Donna B.; Comer, Jonathan S.
Objective Most research on irritability and child psychopathology has focused on depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, and/or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Less is known about relationships between child anxiety and irritability and moderators of such associations. Method Structural equation modeling (SEM) examined associations between anxiety severity and irritability in a large sample of treatment-seeking youth with anxiety disorders (N=663, ages 7–19 years, M=12.25), after accounting for comorbid depressive disorders and ODD. Additional analyses examined whether associations were moderated by child gender, age, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) status. Results There was a direct link between child anxiety and irritability even after accounting for comorbid depressive disorders and ODD. Links between child anxiety and irritability were robust across child gender and age. Further, relationships between child anxiety and irritability were comparable across youth with and without GAD, suggesting that the anxiety–irritability link is relevant across child anxiety disorders and not circumscribed to youth with GAD. Conclusion Findings add to an increasing body of evidence linking child irritability to a range of internalizing and externalizing psychopathologies, and suggest that child anxiety assessment should systematically incorporate irritability evaluations. Further, youth in clinical settings displaying irritability should be assessed for the presence of anxiety. Moreover, treatments for childhood anxiety may do well to incorporate new treatment modules as needed that specifically target problems of irritability. PMID:26703910
Bandelow, Borwin; Michaelis, Sophie
Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder, are the most prevalent mental disorders and are associated with immense health care costs and a high burden of disease. According to large population-based surveys, up to 33.7% of the population are affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Substantial underrecognition and undertreatment of these disorders have been demonstrated. There is no evidence that the prevalence rates of anxiety disorders have changed in the past years. In cross-cultural comparisons, prevalence rates are highly variable. It is more likely that this heterogeneity is due to differences in methodology than to cultural influences. Anxiety disorders follow a chronic course; however, there is a natural decrease in prevalence rates with older age. Anxiety disorders are highly comorbid with other anxiety disorders and other mental disorders.
Bandelow, Borwin; Michaelis, Sophie
Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder, are the most prevalent mental disorders and are associated with immense health care costs and a high burden of disease. According to large population-based surveys, up to 33.7% of the population are affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Substantial underrecognition and undertreatment of these disorders have been demonstrated. There is no evidence that the prevalence rates of anxiety disorders have changed in the past years. In cross-cultural comparisons, prevalence rates are highly variable. It is more likely that this heterogeneity is due to differences in methodology than to cultural influences. Anxiety disorders follow a chronic course; however, there is a natural decrease in prevalence rates with older age. Anxiety disorders are highly comorbid with other anxiety disorders and other mental disorders. PMID:26487813
Moon, Chung-Man; Jeong, Gwang-Woo
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by emotional dysregulation and cognitive deficit in conjunction with brain morphometric and metabolic alterations. This study assessed the combined neural morphological deficits and metabolic abnormality in patients with GAD. Thirteen patients with GAD and 13 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and education level underwent high-resolution T1-weighted MRI and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) at 3Tesla. In this study, the combination of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and (1)H-MRS was used to assess the brain morphometric and metabolic alterations in GAD. The patients showed significantly reduced white matter (WM) volumes in the midbrain (MB), precentral gyrus (PrG), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) compared to the controls. In MRS study, the choline/creatine (Cho/Cr) and choline/N-acetylaspartate (Cho/NAA) ratios in the DLPFC were significantly lower in the patients. Particularly, the WM volume variation of the DLPFC was positively correlated with both of the Cho/Cr and Cho/NAA ratios in patients with GAD. This study provides an evidence for the association between the morphometric deficit and metabolic changes in GAD. This finding would be helpful to understand the neural dysfunction and pathogenesis in connection with cognitive impairments in GAD.
Van Oort, F. V. A.; Greaves-Lord, K.; Verhulst, F. C.; Ormel, J.; Huizink, A. C.
Background: Little is known about the development of anxiety symptoms from late childhood to late adolescence. The present study determined developmental trajectories of symptoms of separation anxiety disorder (SAD), social phobia (SoPh), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in a large…
... of uneasiness. At other times, it develops into panic attacks and phobias. Identifying the Signs Anxiety disorders vary ... specific situations, in which case they are called panic attacks. A panic attack is an abrupt episode of ...
Gosselin, Patrick; Ladouceur, Robert; Morin, Charles M.; Dugas, Michel J.; Baillargeon, Lucie
This study evaluated the specific effectiveness of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) combined with medication tapering for benzodiazepine discontinuation among generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients by using a nonspecific therapy control group. Sixty-one patients who had used benzodiazepines for more than 12 months were randomly assigned to…
Garfinkle, Eric J; Behar, Evelyn
Since the introduction of generalized anxiety disorder into the diagnostic system for psychiatric conditions, scientists have worked to develop effective treatments for the amelioration of chronic, excessive worry. In addition to traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy, more recent advances have focused on treatments targeting intolerance of uncertainty, meta-cognitions, emotion dysregulation, lack of acceptance of internal experiences, and emotional contrasts. This article reviews these therapeutic approaches and summarizes recent publications relevant to the psychological treatment of worry and generalized anxiety disorder.
There is a general belief that physical activity and exercise have positive effects on mood and anxiety and a great number of studies describe an association of physical activity and general well-being, mood and anxiety. In line, intervention studies describe an anxiolytic and antidepressive activity of exercise in healthy subjects and patients. However, the majority of published studies have substantial methodological shortcomings. The aim of this paper is to critically review the currently available literature with respect to (1) the association of physical activity, exercise and the prevalence and incidence of depression and anxiety disorders and (2) the potential therapeutic activity of exercise training in patients with depression or anxiety disorders. Although the association of physical activity and the prevalence of mental disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders have been repeatedly described, only few studies examined the association of physical activity and mental disorders prospectively. Reduced incidence rates of depression and (some) anxiety disorders in exercising subjects raise the question whether exercise may be used in the prevention of some mental disorders. Besides case series and small uncontrolled studies, recent well controlled studies suggest that exercise training may be clinically effective, at least in major depression and panic disorder. Although, the evidence for positive effects of exercise and exercise training on depression and anxiety is growing, the clinical use, at least as an adjunct to established treatment approaches like psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy, is still at the beginning. Further studies on the clinical effects of exercise, interaction with standard treatment approaches and details on the optimal type, intensity, frequency and duration may further support the clinical administration in patients. Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge on how to best deal with depression and anxiety related symptoms
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an exemplar of an anxiety disorder where irrational thoughts and compulsive behaviors succeed each other in a mental system where every negative outcome can occur. Affects like doubt and guilt reinforce the need to prevent catastrophic consequences from occurring. Magical thinking replaces logical thoughts. The risk of suicide becomes high when compulsive acts cannot control anxiety. Behavior and cognitive therapy is the most frequent type of psychological help: the principal target is the change of emotional reactions.
Price, Matthew; van Stolk-Cooke, Katherine
Exposure to traumatic events places individuals at high risk for multiple psychiatric disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The high rates of comorbidity among these conditions merit evaluation in order to improve diagnosis and treatment approaches. The current study evaluated the association between PTSD, MDD, and GAD factors as presented in the DSM 5. 602 trauma-exposed individuals who experienced an event that met Criterion A for the DSM 5 PTSD diagnosis were recruited through Amazon.com, Inc.'s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to complete an assessment of the impact of stressful events on their lives. High interrelations were detected among the 4 PTSD factors, 2 MDD factors that corresponded to somatic and affective symptoms, and the single GAD factor. The affective factor of MDD was most strongly related to the emotional numbing factor of PTSD, whereas the somatic factor of MDD was most strongly related to the hyperarousal factor of PTSD. The GAD factor was most strongly related to the hyperarousal factor of PTSD, relative to the other PTSD factors. The strength of the interrelations between factors of the three disorders is largely a function of the overlap in symptoms and calls into question the uniqueness of negative affective symptoms of PTSD, MDD and GAD. Results suggest that improved understanding of the trauma reaction requires a focus on the unique presentation of each individual and assessment of multiple disorders.
Primiano, Sandra; Marchand, André; Gosselin, Patrick; Langlois, Frédéric; Bouchard, Stéphane; Bélanger, Claude; Labrecque, Joane; Dugas, Michel; Dupuis, Gilles
Concurrent panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are the most common diagnostic occurrences among anxiety disorders. This particular comorbidity is associated with significant impairments in quality of life (QOL). The current study sought to investigate the efficacy of a combined cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy that addressed both conditions compared with a conventional psychotherapy, which attends solely to the primary disorder. The hypotheses postulated firstly, that both treatment conditions would lead to improvements in participants' QOL and secondly, that the combined therapy would lead to greater QOL ameliorations. Twenty-five participants with comorbid PDA/GAD diagnoses were evaluated with a number of clinical interviews and self-report questionnaires, and were provided with either conventional or combined cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, which consisted of 14 one-hour weekly sessions. Participants were once again evaluated in the same fashion 2-weeks after the completion of the psychotherapy. The results revealed that both conditions led to significant improvements in participants' QOL, but that the two groups did not significantly differ in terms of the effect on QOL. The results also reveal that the two conditions did not significantly differ in terms of their effect on PDA and GAD symptomatology or psychiatric comorbidity. The results demonstrate that the combined psychotherapy, which addresses both conditions simultaneously, is similar to the conventional psychotherapy employed for the primary disorder in terms of QOL enhancement, symptom severity, and comorbidity reduction.
Hofmann, Stefan G; Anu Asnaani, M A; Hinton, Devon E
To examine cultural aspects in social anxiety and social anxiety disorder (SAD), we reviewed the literature on the prevalence rates, expressions, and treatments of social anxiety/SAD as they relate to culture, race, and ethnicity. We further reviewed factors that contribute to the differences in social anxiety/SAD between different cultures, including individualism/collectivism, perception of social norms, self-construal, gender roles, and gender role identification. Our review suggests that the prevalence and expression of social anxiety/SAD depends on the particular culture. Asian cultures typically show the lowest rates, whereas Russian and US samples show the highest rates, of SAD. Taijin kyofusho is discussed as a possible culture-specific expression of social anxiety, although the empirical evidence concerning the validity of this syndrome has been mixed. It is concluded that the individual's social concerns need to be examined in the context of the person's cultural, racial, and ethnic background in order to adequately assess the degree and expression of social anxiety and SAD. This has direct relevance for the upcoming DSM-V.
Zhang, Chenshu; Brook, Judith S.; Leukefeld, Carl G.; Brook, David W.
Aims The objective of this study was to examine the associations between compulsive buying (CB) and substance dependence/abuse, major depressive episode (MDE), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) at mean age 43. Methods Participants came from a community-based random sample of residents in two New York counties (N=548). The participants were followed from adolescence to early midlife. The mean age of participants at the most recent interview was 43.0 (SD=2.8). Fifty five percent of the participants were females. Over 90% of the participants were white. The prevalence of substance dependence/abuse, MDE, and GAD (during the past 5 years before the interviews) was 6.6%, 13.7, and 11.5%, respectively. Results Logistic regression analyses showed that CB was significantly associated with substance dependence/abuse [Adjusted Odds Ratio (A.O.R.) = 1.60], MDE (A.O.R. = 1.70), and GAD (A.O.R. = 1.63), despite controlling for substance dependence/abuse, MDE, and GAD, respectively, at mean age 37, and demographic factors. Discussion Since the study sample is limited to predominantly white participants (over 90%) with a close association to a small geographic area, the findings may not be generalizable to racial/ethnic minority groups or individuals living in other parts of the country. Nevertheless, it is important that clinicians treating substance dependence/abuse, MDE, and GAD consider the role of CB. PMID:27215919
Moon, Chung-Man; Sundaram, Thirunavukkarasu; Choi, Nam-Gil; Jeong, Gwang-Woo
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is associated with brain functional and morphological changes in connected with emotional dysregulation and cognitive deficit. This study dealt with the neural functional deficits and metabolic abnormalities in working memory (WM) task with emotion-inducing distractors in patients with GAD. Fourteen patients with GAD and 14 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) at 3T. In response to the emotional distractors in WM tasks, the patients concurrently showed higher activity in the hippocampus and lower activities in the superior occipital gyrus, superior parietal gyrus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and precentral gyrus compared to the controls. MRS revealed significantly lower choline/creatine (Cho/Cr) and choline/N-acetylaspartate (Cho/NAA) ratios in the DLPFC. In particular, the Cho ratios were positively correlated with the brain activities based on blood oxygenation level-dependent signal change in the DLPFC. This study provides the first evidence for the association between the metabolic alterations and functional deficit in WM processing with emotion-inducing distractors in GAD. These findings will be helpful to understand the neural dysfunction in connection with WM impairment in GAD.
Drabick, Deborah A. G.; Gadow, Kenneth D.; Loney, Jan
Despite important clinical and nosological implications, the comorbidity of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has received little attention. A clinic-based sample of 243 boys (ages 6-10 years), their parents, and teachers participated in an evaluation that involved assessments of behavioral, academic, and…
Hofmann, Stefan G; Hinton, Devon E
A person's cultural background influences the experience and expression of emotions. In reviewing the recent literature on cross-cultural aspects of anxiety disorders, we identified some culturally related ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors (the culture's conceptualizations of how the mind and body function) and contextual factors that influence anxiety disorders. Ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors include the person's ideas about the mental and bodily processes (and their interaction), whereas contextual factors are associated with the social norms and rules that may contribute to anxiety, including individualism vs. collectivism and self-construals. From the perspective of ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology and contextual factors, we will discuss "khyâl cap" ("wind attacks"), taijin kyofusho, and ataques de nervios, three prominent examples of culture-specific expressions of anxiety disorders that have all been included in the DSM-5 list of cultural concepts of distress.
Hofmann, Stefan G.; Hinton, Devon E.
A person’s cultural background influences the experience and expression of emotions. In reviewing the recent literature on cross-cultural aspects of anxiety disorders, we identified some culturally related ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors (the culture’s conceptualizations of how the mind and body function) and contextual factors that influence anxiety disorders. Ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors include the person’s ideas about the mental and bodily processes (and their interaction), whereas contextual factors are associated with the social norms and rules that may contribute to anxiety, including individualism vs. collectivism and self-construals. From the perspective of ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology and contextual factors, we will discuss “khyâl cap” (“wind attacks”), taijin kyofusho, and ataques de nervios, three prominent examples of culture-specific expressions of anxiety disorders that have all been included in the DSM-5 list of cultural concepts of distress, PMID:24744049
Bystritsky, Alexander; Khalsa, Sahib S.; Cameron, Michael E.; Schiffman, Jason
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health conditions. Although they are less visible than schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder, they can be just as disabling. The diagnoses of anxiety disorders are being continuously revised. Both dimensional and structural diagnoses have been used in clinical treatment and research, and both methods have been proposed for the new classification in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-5). However, each of these approaches has limitations. More recently, the emphasis in diagnosis has focused on neuroimaging and genetic research. This approach is based partly on the need for a more comprehensive understanding of how biology, stress, and genetics interact to shape the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety disorders can be effectively treated with psychopharmacological and cognitive–behavioral interventions. These inter ventions have different symptom targets; thus, logical combinations of these strategies need to be further studied in order to improve future outcomes. New developments are forthcoming in the field of alternative strategies for managing anxiety and for treatment-resistant cases. Additional treatment enhancements should include the development of algorithms that can be easily used in primary care and with greater focus on managing functional impairment in patients with anxiety. PMID:23599668
Kossowsky, Joe; Wilhelm, Frank H.; Roth, Walton T.; Schneider, Silvia
Background: Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common anxiety disorders in childhood and is predictive of adult anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder. However, the disorder has seldom been studied and the attempt to distinguish SAD from other anxiety disorders with regard to psychophysiology has not been made. We expected…
Koszycki, Diana; Bilodeau, Cynthia; Raab-Mayo, Kelley; Bradwejn, Jacques
Objectives We have previously reported that a multifaith spiritually based intervention (SBI) may have efficacy in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This randomized pilot trial tested whether the SBI had greater efficacy than a nonspecific control condition in GAD. Method Twenty-three participants with GAD of at least moderate severity were randomized to 12 individual sessions of the SBI (n = 11) or supportive psychotherapy (SP)—our control condition (n = 12). Results Intent-to-treat analysis revealed the SBI fared better than SP in decreasing blind clinician ratings of anxiety and illness severity and self-report worry and intolerance of uncertainty, with large between-group effect sizes. The SBI also produced greater changes in spiritual well-being. Results remained the same when supplementary analyses were performed on the completer sample. Treatment gains were maintained at 3-months follow-up. Conclusions This small pilot trial demonstrates that a nondenominational SBI has greater efficacy than a rigorous control in improving symptoms of GAD and enhancing spiritual well-being. These results are encouraging and further research on the efficacy of the SBI and its underlying mechanisms is warranted. PMID:24114846
Wang, Wei; Qian, Shaowen; Liu, Kai; Li, Bo; Li, Min; Xin, Kuolin; Sun, Gang
The purpose of this study was to explore white matter microstructural alterations in the patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) technique, and to assess neural associations with the symptom severity. Twenty-eight first-episode, treatment-naive GAD patients without co-morbidities and 28 matched healthy controls underwent DTI acquisition and clinical symptom assessments. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to analyze white matter microstructural abnormalities in patients with GAD, as well as their associations with clinical symptom scores in a voxel-wise manner. Compared to controls, patients showed decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) values in 7 clusters of white matter in bilateral uncinate fasciculus, body of corpus callosum, left middle cingulum (cingulate gyrus), bilateral anterior thalamic radiation and corona radiate, right anterior limb of internal capsule, bilateral inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus, bilateral superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculus, and increased mean diffusivity and radial diffusivity in widespread white matter regions. Reduced FA values in right uncinate fasciculus, left cingulum bundle showed significantly negative correlations with clinical symptom severity for Hamilton anxiety Rating Scale scores. Our findings suggest microstructural abnormalities in uncinate fasciculus and cingulum bundle play key roles in the underlying neural basis of GAD.
Ghafoori, Bita; Neria, Yuval; Gameroff, Marc J.; Olfson, Mark; Lantigua, Rafael; Shea, Steven; Weissman, Myrna M.
Little is known about the mental health impact of terrorism beyond posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The associations between exposure to the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks in New York City and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms were examined in a sample of 929 primary care patients. After controlling for PTSD, depression, panic and substance use disorders, and pre-9/11 trauma, patients who screened positive (vs. negative) for GAD symptoms were roughly twice as likely to report having a loved one at the 9/11 disaster site, twice as likely to know someone who was killed by the attacks, and twice as likely to know someone who was involved with the rescue/recovery efforts after the disaster. Implications for treatment and future research are discussed. PMID:19475656
Affrunti, Nicholas W; Woodruff-Borden, Janet
Although perfectionism has been identified as a factor in many psychiatric disorders across the life span, it is relatively understudied in pediatric anxiety and depressive disorders. Furthermore, there exists little cohesion among previous research, restricting the conclusions that can be made across studies. In this review, research associating perfectionism with pediatric anxiety and depression is examined and a framework is presented synthesizing research to date. We focus on detailing the current understanding of how perfectionism develops and interacts with other developmental features characteristic of anxiety and depression in children and potential pathways that result in anxiety and depressive disorders. This includes: how perfectionism is measured in children, comparisons with relevant adult literature, the development of perfectionism in children and adolescents, mediators and moderators of the link between perfectionism and anxiety and depression, and the role of perfectionism in treatment and prevention of these disorders. We also present research detailing perfectionism across cultures. Findings from these studies are beginning to implicate perfectionism as an underlying process that may contribute broadly to the development of anxiety and depression in a pediatric population. Throughout the review, difficulties, limitations, and gaps in the current understanding are presented while offering suggestions for future research.
Hayes, P E; Schulz, S C
Studies evaluating the antianxiety and antipanic properties of beta-blockers do not support their routine use in treating either generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. The use of propranolol for anxiety disorders accompanied by physical symptoms, especially cardiovascular complaints, may be effective in some patients when combined with benzodiazepines or perhaps in some non-responders to conventional treatment. Better designed studies are needed to evaluate the exact role of beta-blocking agents in treating anxiety. The efficacy of propranolol in patients with panic disorder has not been widely researched, but preliminary results have not been encouraging. Propranolol may provide symptomatic relief in some patients with residual somatic complaints (i.e., palpitations and tachycardia), when combined with the patient's ongoing drug regimen. Because beta-blockers may induce depression, they should be used cautiously--if at all--in panic patients with concurrent depressive illness.
Cho, Seong-Jin; Hong, Jin Pyo; Lee, Jun-Young; Im, Jeong Soo; Na, Kyoung-Sae; Park, Jee Eun
Objective There are conflicting reports about whether individual anxiety disorders are independently associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. We examined whether anxiety disorders are related to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in a community sample of South Korean adults. Methods In-person interviews based on the South Korean version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview were conducted to diagnose mental disorders. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to examine whether anxiety disorders were associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Each regression model treated lifetime diagnosis of anxiety disorders as independent variables. Sociodemographic characteristics, cohabitation status, lifetime history of mood disorders, alcohol use disorders, and psychotic disorders were included as covariates. Results Nationally representative sample of 6,510 South Korean adults aged 18–64 years was recruited. Multivariate analysis adjusted for psychiatric comorbidity and sociodemographic variables revealed that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) [2.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.27, 4.33)], post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (3.50, 95% CI: 2.16, 5.68), specific phobia (1.55, 95% CI: 1.14, 2.11), social phobia (2.97, 95% CI: 1.27, 6.94), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (5.58, 95% CI: 2.70, 11.6) were associated with suicidal ideation, whereas only social phobia (3.78, 95% CI: 1.41, 10.1) and PTSD (5.13, 95% CI: 2.81, 9.37) were associated with suicide attempts. Conclusion Individual anxiety disorders are independently associated with suicidal ideation and/or suicide attempts. The importance of the early detection of anxiety disorders and of assessing the suicide risk in individuals with anxiety disorders is emphasized. PMID:27909449
Comparisons of the tolerability and sensitivity of quetiapine-XR in the acute treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar mania, bipolar depression, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder
Wang, Zuowei; Kemp, David E.; Chan, Philip K.; Fang, Yiru; Ganocy, Stephen J.; Calabrese, Joseph R.; Gao, Keming
Quetiapine extended-release (quetiapine-XR) has been studied in patients with schizophrenia, bipolar mania, bipolar depression, major depressive disorder (MDD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The purpose of this study was to compare the tolerability and sensitivity of quetiapine-XR among these psychiatric conditions. The discontinuation due to adverse events (DAEs) and reported somnolence in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of quetiapine-XR in these psychiatric conditions were examined. The absolute risk reduction or increase and the number needed to treat to benefit (NNTB) or harm (NNTH) for DAEs and reported somnolence of quetiapine-XR ≥300 mg/d relative to placebo were estimated. Data from one study in schizophrenia (n=465), one in mania (n=316), one in bipolar depression (n=280), two in refractory MDD (n=624), two in MDD (n=669) and three in GAD (n=1109) were available. The risk for DAEs of quetiapine-XR relative to placebo was significantly increased in bipolar depression (NNTH=9), refractory MDD (NNTH=8), MDD (NNTH=9), and GAD (NNTH=5), but not in schizophrenia and mania. The risk for reported somnolence of quetiapine-XR relative to placebo was significantly increased in schizophrenia (600 mg/d NNTH=15 and 800 mg/d NNTH=11), mania (NNTH=8), bipolar depression (NNTH=4), refractory MDD (NNTH=5), MDD (NNTH=5) and GAD (NNTH=5). These results suggest that patients with GAD had the poorest tolerability during treatment with quetiapine-XR, but they had a similar sensitivity as those with bipolar depression and MDD. Patients with schizophrenia or mania had a higher tolerability and a lower sensitivity than those with bipolar depression, MDD, or GAD. PMID:20875219
Weeks, Justin W; Carleton, R Nicholas; Asmundson, Gordon J G; McCabe, Randi E; Antony, Martin M
Previous findings suggest that social anxiety disorder may be best characterized as having a dimensional latent structure (Kollman et al., 2006; Weeks et al., 2009). We attempted to extend previous taxometric investigations of social anxiety by examining the latent structure of social anxiety disorder symptoms in a large sample comprised of social anxiety disorder patients (i.e., putative taxon members) and community residents/undergraduate respondents (i.e., putative complement class members). MAXEIG and MAMBAC were performed with indicator sets drawn from a self-report measure of social anxiety symptoms, the Social Interaction Phobia Scale (Carleton et al., 2009). MAXEIG and MAMBAC analyses, as well as comparison analyses utilizing simulated taxonic and dimensional datasets, yielded converging evidence that social anxiety disorder has a taxonic latent structure. Moreover, 100% of the confirmed social anxiety disorder patients in our overall sample were correctly assigned to the identified taxon class, providing strong support for the external validity of the identified taxon; and k-means cluster analysis results corroborated our taxometric base-rate estimates. Implications regarding the conceptualization, diagnosis, and assessment of social anxiety disorder are discussed.
Boehme, Stephanie; Ritter, Viktoria; Tefikow, Susan; Stangier, Ulrich; Strauss, Bernhard; Miltner, Wolfgang H R; Straube, Thomas
Exaggerated anticipatory anxiety during expectation of performance-related situations is an important feature of the psychopathology of social anxiety disorder (SAD). The neural basis of anticipatory anxiety in SAD has not been investigated in controlled studies. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates during the anticipation of public and evaluated speaking vs a control condition in 17 SAD patients and 17 healthy control subjects. FMRI results show increased activation of the insula and decreased activation of the ventral striatum in SAD patients, compared to control subjects during anticipation of a speech vs the control condition. In addition, an activation of the amygdala in SAD patients during the first half of the anticipation phase in the speech condition was observed. Finally, the amount of anticipatory anxiety of SAD patients was negatively correlated to the activation of the ventral striatum. This suggests an association between incentive function, motivation and anticipatory anxiety when SAD patients expect a performance situation.
Pae, Chi-Un; Wang, Sheng-Min; Han, Changsu; Lee, Soo-Jung; Patkar, Ashwin A; Masand, Praksh S; Serretti, Alessandro
Vortioxetine has a beneficial pharmacological profile for reducing anxiety and depression. Recently, a number of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of vortioxetine have been conducted in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); however, the results from GAD RCTs are inconsistent. With an extensive search of databases and clinical trial registries, four published short-term RCTs were identified and included in the present meta-analysis. The mean change in total scores on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA) from baseline was the primary endpoint. The secondary endpoints included the response and remission rates, as defined by a ≥50% reduction in HAMA total scores and a ≤7 change in the HAMA total score at the end of treatment. In addition, the mean change in the HAMA total score from baseline in the subgroup with a HAMA total score ≥25 at baseline was included. Vortioxetine was significantly more effective than was placebo, with a standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.118 (95% CIs, -0.203 to -0.033, P = 0.007). In particular, those with severe GAD (HAMA total score ≥25 at baseline) had a significantly greater benefit from vortioxetine than those without (SMD = -0.338, 95% CIs = -0.552 to -0.124, p = 0.002). The odds ratios (ORs) for vortioxetine for response and remission were 1.221 (95% CIs, 1.027 to 1.452, P = 0.024) and 1.052 (95% CIs, 0.853 to 1.296, P = 0.637), respectively. Discontinuation due to adverse events (AEs) (OR = 1.560, 1.006 to 2.419, p = 0.047) was marginally higher in vortioxetine than placebo treatment, whereas discontinuation due to any reason (OR = 0.971, 0.794 to 1.187, p = 0.771) and inefficacy (OR = 0.687, 0.380 to 1.243, p = 0.215) were not significantly different among treatment groups. Although our results suggest that vortioxetine may have a potential as an another treatment option for GAD (especially for severe GAD), they should be interpreted and
Huang, Wei-Lieh; Chen, Tzu-Ting; Chen, I-Ming; Ma, Huei-Mei; Lee, Ming-Tzu; Liao, Shih-Cheng; Gau, Shur-Fen
The aim of this study is to compare the severity of depression and anxiety in individuals with somatoform disorders, panic disorder, other depressive/anxiety disorders, and healthy controls in a Han Chinese population. According to the DSM-IV-TR-based diagnostic interviews, we recruited 152 subjects with somatoform disorders (SG), 56 with panic disorder (PG), 85 with other depressive/anxiety disorders (OG), and 179 without any psychiatric disorder (NG). The four groups reported on the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) for depressive and anxiety symptoms, respectively. Correlation analysis and multivariate regression analysis were used to determine the effects of demographic factors and psychiatric diagnoses on depressive and anxiety symptoms separately. BDI-II scores were not significantly different in SG, PG, and OG but were higher than NG. SG and PG had the highest BAI scores, whereas NG had the lowest. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that the associated factors for BDI-II were gender, residential location, somatoform disorders, panic disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and generalized anxiety disorder, whereas BAI was significantly associated with somatoform disorders, panic disorder, and MDD. Our results strongly suggest the inclusion of clinical assessment of depressive and anxious symptoms in patients with somatoform disorders.
Kauer-Sant'Anna, Marcia; Kapczinski, Flavio; Vieta, Eduard
Epidemiological and clinical studies have reported a high prevalence of anxiety symptoms in bipolar disorder, either in manic or depressive episodes, although these symptoms do not always meet criteria for a specific anxiety disorder. In addition to anxiety symptoms, bipolar disorder frequently presents with co-morbid axis I conditions, with anxiety disorders being the most common co-morbidity. Therefore, the objective of this article is to review clinical and epidemiological studies that have investigated the association between bipolar disorder and anxiety. Available data on the efficacy of treatments for bipolar disorder and co-morbid anxiety disorders are also reviewed. Existing guidelines do recognize that co-morbid anxiety has a negative impact on the course and outcome of bipolar disorder; however, there have been very few double-blind, controlled trials examining the treatment response of patients with bipolar disorder and co-occurring anxiety disorders. There is some positive evidence for quetiapine, olanzapine in combination with fluoxetine or lithium, and lamotrigine with lithium, and negative evidence for risperidone. Other therapies used for bipolar disorder, including several mood stabilizers, antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, have been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms, but specific data for their effects in patients with anxiety symptoms co-morbid with bipolar disorder are not available. The co-occurrence of anxiety and bipolar disorder has implications for diagnosis, clinical outcome, treatment and prognosis. Careful screening for co-morbid anxiety symptoms and disorders is warranted when diagnosing and treating patients with bipolar disorder.
Riva, Giuseppe; Gorini, Alessandra; Gaggioli, Andrea
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a constant and unspecific anxiety that interferes with daily-life activities. Together with the cognitive-behavioural treatments, relaxation represents a useful approach for the treatment of GAD, but it has the limitation that it is hard to be learned. To overcome this limitation we propose the use of biofeedback enhanced virtual reality (VR) to facilitate the relaxation process. The VR relaxation experience will be strengthened by the use of a mobile phone able to track and visualize, in an outpatient setting too, the physiological data of the patients. To test this concept, we planned a randomized controlled trial (NCT00602212), including three groups of 15 patients each (for a total of 75 patients): (1) the VR group, (2) the non-VR group and (3) the waiting list (WL) group. This controlled trial will be able to evaluate the effects of the use of VR in relaxation while preserving the benefits of randomization to reduce bias.
Turner, Samuel M; Beidel, Deborah C; Roberson-Nay, Roxann; Tervo, Kari
Anxiety disorders are familial, and although considerable evidence supports the role of genetic/biological parameters in their development, these alone do not entirely explain their etiology. In this study, the role of parenting behavior as a possible factor in the transmission of anxiety from parent to child was examined. Using interview, self-report, and direct behavioral observation, behaviors of parents with an anxiety disorder were compared to those of parents without an anxiety disorder on a number of dimensions, but particularly with respect to whether anxious parents actively inhibited their children from engaging in normal age appropriate activities. These behaviors were assessed during routine activities and in a structured non-conflictual play task. Although anxious parents did not overtly restrict their child's behavior in either type of activity, they reported higher levels of distress when their children were engaged in these activities. Similarly, the "emotional climate" in families with an anxious parent differed significantly from families without an anxious parent. The results are discussed in terms of how parenting behaviors might influence the development of maladaptive anxiety via social learning and information transfer, and their heuristic implications.
Meyer, Denny; Austin, David William; Kyrios, Michael
Background The development of e-mental health interventions to treat or prevent mental illness and to enhance wellbeing has risen rapidly over the past decade. This development assists the public in sidestepping some of the obstacles that are often encountered when trying to access traditional face-to-face mental health care services. Objective The objective of our study was to investigate the posttreatment effectiveness of five fully automated self-help cognitive behavior e-therapy programs for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (PD/A), obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD) offered to the international public via Anxiety Online, an open-access full-service virtual psychology clinic for anxiety disorders. Methods We used a naturalistic participant choice, quasi-experimental design to evaluate each of the five Anxiety Online fully automated self-help e-therapy programs. Participants were required to have at least subclinical levels of one of the anxiety disorders to be offered the associated disorder-specific fully automated self-help e-therapy program. These programs are offered free of charge via Anxiety Online. Results A total of 225 people self-selected one of the five e-therapy programs (GAD, n = 88; SAD, n = 50; PD/A, n = 40; PTSD, n = 30; OCD, n = 17) and completed their 12-week posttreatment assessment. Significant improvements were found on 21/25 measures across the five fully automated self-help programs. At postassessment we observed significant reductions on all five anxiety disorder clinical disorder severity ratings (Cohen d range 0.72–1.22), increased confidence in managing one’s own mental health care (Cohen d range 0.70–1.17), and decreases in the total number of clinical diagnoses (except for the PD/A program, where a positive trend was found) (Cohen d range 0.45–1.08). In addition, we found significant improvements in
Suveg, Cynthia; Zeman, Janice
This study examined emotion management skills in addition to the role of emotional intensity and self-efficacy in emotion regulation in 26 children with anxiety disorders (ADs) ages 8 to 12 years and their counterparts without any form of psychopathology. Children completed the Children's Emotion Management Scales (CEMS) and Emotion Regulation…
Koen, Nastassja; Stein, Dan J.
Given the enormous contribution of anxiety disorders to the burden of disease, it is key to optimize their prevention and treatment. In this critical review we assess advances in the pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders, as well as remaining challenges, in recent decades, the field has seen rigorous clinical trial methods to quantify the efficacy and safety of serendipitously discovered agents, more focused development of medications with selective mechanisms of action, and the gradual translation of insights from laboratory research into proof-of-principle clinical trials. On the positive side, a considerable database of studies shows efficacy and relative tolerability of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the major anxiety disorders, and secondary analyses of such datasets have informed questions such as optimal definition of response and remission, optimal dose and duration, and comparative efficacy of different agents. Significant challenges in the field include barriers to appropriate diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders, failure of a significant proportion of patients to respond to first-line pharmacotherapy agents, and a limited database of efficacy or effectiveness studies to guide treatment in such cases. PMID:22275848
Ginsburg, Golda S.; Siqueland, Lynne; Masia-Warner, Carrie; Hedtke, Kristina A.
Accumulating evidence indicates that family/parenting behaviors are associated with the etiology of anxiety disorders in children. This article critically reviews what is known about how family/parenting behaviors have been measured in this literature and presents findings from studies examining the relation between family/parenting constructs and…
Bomyea, J; Ramsawh, H; Ball, T M; Taylor, C T; Paulus, M P; Lang, A J; Stein, M B
Growing evidence suggests that intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is a cognitive vulnerability that is a central feature across diverse anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce IU, it remains to be established whether or not reductions in IU mediate reductions in worry. This study examined the process of change in IU and worry in a sample of 28 individuals with GAD who completed CBT. Changes in IU and worry, assessed bi-weekly during treatment, were analyzed using multilevel mediation models. Results revealed that change in IU mediated change in worry (ab = -0.20; 95% CI [-.35, -.09]), but change in worry did not mediate change in IU (ab = -0.16; 95% CI [-.06, .12]). Findings indicated that reductions in IU accounted for 59% of the reductions in worry observed over the course of treatment, suggesting that changes in IU are not simply concomitants of changes in worry. Findings support the idea that IU is a critical construct underlying GAD.
Olatunji, Bunmi O.; Wolitzky-Taylor, Kate B.
There has been significant interest in the role of anxiety sensitivity (AS) in the anxiety disorders. In this meta-analysis, we empirically evaluate differences in AS between anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and nonclinical controls. A total of 38 published studies (N = 20,146) were included in the analysis. The results yielded a large effect…
Vera-Llonch, Montserrat; Dukes, Ellen; Rejas, Javier; Sofrygin, Oleg; Mychaskiw, Marko; Oster, Gerry
The objective of the present study was to describe a new model of the cost-effectiveness of treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and its application to a comparison of pregabalin versus venlafaxine extended-release (XR) from a Spanish healthcare perspective. Microsimulation techniques, including Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) score, number of weeks with minimal or no anxiety (HAM-A
Bottesi, Gioia; Ghisi, Marta; Carraro, Eleonora; Barclay, Nicola; Payne, Rebecca; Freeston, Mark H.
The Intolerance of Uncertainty Model (IUM) of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) attributes a key role to Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU), and additional roles to Positive Beliefs about Worry (PBW), Negative Problem Orientation (NPO), and Cognitive Avoidance (CA), in the development and maintenance of worry, the core feature of GAD. Despite the role of the IUM components in worry and GAD has been considerably demonstrated, to date no studies have explicitly assessed whether and how PBW, NPO, and CA might turn IU into worry and somatic anxiety. The current studies sought to re-examine the IUM by assessing the relationships between the model’s components on two different non-clinical samples made up of UK and Italian undergraduate students. One-hundred and seventy UK undergraduates and 488 Italian undergraduates completed measures assessing IU, worry, somatic anxiety, depression, and refined measures of PBW, NPO, and CA. In each sample, two mediation models were conducted in order to test whether PBW, NPO, and CA differentially mediate the path from IU to worry and the path from IU to somatic anxiety. Secondly, it was tested whether IU also moderates the mediations. Main findings showed that, in the UK sample, only NPO mediated the path from IU to worry; as far as concern the path to anxiety, none of the putative mediators was significant. Differently, in the Italian sample PBW and NPO were mediators in the path from IU to worry, whereas only CA played a mediational role in the path from IU to somatic anxiety. Lastly, IU was observed to moderate only the association between NPO and worry, and only in the Italian sample. Some important cross-cultural, conceptual, and methodological issues raised from main results are discussed. PMID:27847496
Brenes, Gretchen A.; Danhauer, Suzanne C.; Lyles, Mary F.; Hogan, Patricia E.; Miller, Michael E.
IMPORTANCE Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is common in older adults; however, access to treatment may be limited, particularly in rural areas. OBJECTIVE To examine the effects of telephone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) compared with telephone-delivered nondirective supportive therapy (NST) in rural older adults with GAD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Randomized clinical trial in the participants’ homes of 141 adults aged 60 years and older with a principal or coprincipal diagnosis of GAD who were recruited between January 27, 2011, and October 22, 2013. INTERVENTIONS Telephone-delivered CBT consisted of as many as 11 sessions (9 were required) focused on recognition of anxiety symptoms, relaxation, cognitive restructuring, the use of coping statements, problem solving, worry control, behavioral activation, exposure therapy, and relapse prevention, with optional chapters on sleep and pain. Telephone-delivered NST consisted of 10 sessions focused on providing a supportive atmosphere in which participants could share and discuss their feelings and did not provide any direct suggestions for coping. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Primary outcomes included interviewer-rated anxiety severity (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale) and self-reported worry severity (Penn State Worry Questionnaire–Abbreviated) measured at baseline, 2 months’ follow-up, and 4 months’ follow-up. Mood-specific secondary outcomes included self-reported GAD symptoms (GAD Scale 7 Item) measured at baseline and 4 months’ follow-up and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory) measured at baseline, 2 months’ follow-up, and 4 months’ follow-up. Among the 141 participants, 70 were randomized to receive CBT and 71 to receive NST. RESULTS At 4 months’ follow-up, there was a significantly greater decline in worry severity among participants in the telephone-delivered CBT group (difference in improvement, −4.07; 95%CI, −6.26 to −1.87; P = .004) but no significant
Otto, M W; Pollack, M H; Rosenbaum, J F; Sachs, G S; Asher, R H
Converging lines of evidence indicate a nonspecific link between childhood anxiety disorders and adult panic disorder. Anxiety sensitivity, defined as the fear of anxiety symptoms, was hypothesized to be a potential mediating variable in this link. This study examined the association among childhood history of anxiety disorders, current anxiety symptoms, and anxiety sensitivity in a sample of 100 patients with panic disorder undergoing treatment. Fifty-five percent of the patients had histories of one or more childhood anxiety disorders. Despite the heterogeneity of symptoms and treatment interventions among these patients, a childhood history of anxiety was associated with comorbid anxiety conditions, agoraphobic avoidance, and anxiety sensitivity scores. Anxiety sensitivity was itself a significant predictor of current severity of illness, but a childhood history of anxiety was not. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that having an anxiety disorder during childhood is linked with patterns of anxiety and phobic avoidance in adulthood, including the level of anxiety sensitivity in patients with panic disorder.
Kasper, Siegfried; Iglesias-García, Celso; Schweizer, Edward; Wilson, Jacquelyn; DuBrava, Sarah; Prieto, Rita; Pitman, Verne W; Knapp, Lloyd
Discontinuation effects following cessation of 12 and 24 wk of pregabalin treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were evaluated in a placebo- and lorazepam-controlled, randomized, double-blind, multicentre trial conducted in 16 countries. The study design consisted of two 12-wk treatment periods (periods 1 and 2), each followed by a 1-wk taper and two post-discontinuation assessments, one immediately following the taper and one 1-wk post-taper. Patients were assigned to receive an initially flexible dose of pregabalin 450-600 mg/d, pregabalin 150-300 mg/d, or lorazepam 3-4 mg/d for 6 wk; responders continued fixed-dose therapy for 6 additional weeks. Patients entering period 2 continued on the same fixed dose or switched to placebo. Discontinuation effects were evaluated with the Physician Withdrawal Checklist (PWC) and reported discontinuation-emergent signs and symptoms. Rebound anxiety was measured with the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. GAD symptoms improved with all treatments and improvements were maintained over 12 and 24 wk. Low levels of discontinuation symptoms were evident in all treatment groups. For patients who received active treatment during both periods, mean (95% confidence interval) increases on the PWC from last visit on active treatment to the second post-discontinuation assessment were: pregabalin 450-600 mg/d: 2.8 (1.6-3.9), pregabalin 150-300 mg/d: 1.7 (0.7-2.8), lorazepam 3-4 mg/d: 2.2 (1.0-3.5). Rates of rebound anxiety were also low at both 12 and 24 wk (0-6%). This suggests that risk of discontinuation symptoms and rebound anxiety are low for pregabalin after 12 and 24 wk of treatment.
Wang, Wei; Hou, Jingming; Qian, Shaowen; Liu, Kai; Li, Bo; Li, Min; Peng, Zhaohui; Xin, Kuolin; Sun, Gang
The purpose of this study was to investigate the neural activity and functional connectivity in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) during resting state, and how these alterations correlate to patients' symptoms. Twenty-eight GAD patients and 28 matched healthy controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) scans. Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) were computed to explore regional activity and functional integration, and were compared between the two groups using the voxel-based two-sample t test. Pearson's correlation analyses were performed to examine the neural relationships with demographics and clinical symptoms scores. Compared to controls, GAD patients showed functional abnormalities: higher ALFF in the bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex; lower connectivity in prefrontal gyrus; lower in prefrontal-limbic and cingulate RSFC and higher prefrontal-hippocampus RSFC were correlated with clinical symptoms severity, but these associations were unable to withstand correction for multiple testing. These findings may help facilitate further understanding of the potential neural substrate of GAD.
Domschke, Katharina; Stevens, Stephan; Pfleiderer, Bettina; Gerlach, Alexander L
Interoceptive sensitivity, particularly regarding heartbeat, has been suggested to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of anxiety and anxiety disorders. This review provides an overview of methods which are frequently used to assess heartbeat perception in clinical studies and summarizes presently available results referring to interoceptive sensitivity with respect to heartbeat in anxiety-related traits (anxiety sensitivity, state/trait anxiety), panic disorder and other anxiety disorders. In addition, recent neurobiological studies of neuronal activation correlates of heartbeat perception using positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or electroencephalographic (EEG) techniques are presented. Finally, possible clinical and therapeutic implications (e.g., beta-blockers, biofeedback therapy, cognitive interventions and interoceptive exposure) of the effects of heartbeat perception on anxiety and the anxiety disorders and the potential use of interoceptive sensitivity as an intermediate phenotype of anxiety disorders in future neurobiological and genetic studies are discussed.
Calleo, Jessica S.; Bush, Amber L.; Cully, Jeffrey A.; Wilson, Nancy L.; Kraus-Schuman, Cynthia; Rhoades, Howard M.; Novy, Diane M.; Masozera, Nicholas; Williams, Susan; Horsfield, Matthew; Kunik, Mark E.; Stanley, Melinda A.
Objective To increase sustainability of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) in primary care for late-life anxiety, we incorporated non-expert counselors, options for telephone meetings, and integration with primary care clinicians. Method This open trial examines the feasibility, satisfaction and clinical outcomes of CBT delivered by experienced and non-experienced counselors for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Clinical outcomes assessed worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale), and anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory and Structured Interview Guide for Hamilton Anxiety Scale). Results Following 3 months of treatment, Cohen’s d effect sizes for worry and anxiety ranged from .48 to .78. Patients treated by experienced and non-experienced counselors had similar reductions in worry and anxiety, although treatment outcomes were more improved on the Beck Anxiety Inventory for experienced therapists. Conclusion Preliminary results suggest adapted CBT can effectively reduce worry. The piloted modifications can provide acceptable and feasible evidence-based care. PMID:23588228
Suveg, Cynthia; Zeman, Janice
This study examined emotion management skills in addition to the role of emotional intensity and self-efficacy in emotion regulation in 26 children with anxiety disorders (ADs) ages 8 to 12 years and their counterparts without any form of psychopathology. Children completed the Children's Emotion Management Scales (CEMS) and Emotion Regulation Interview (ERI), and mothers reported on their children's emotion regulation using the Emotion Regulation Checklist (ERC). Results indicated that children who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (4th ed., American Psychiatric Association, 1994) criteria for an anxiety disorder had difficulty managing worried, sad, and anger experiences, potentially due to their report of experiencing emotions with high intensity and having little confidence in their ability to regulate this arousal. These findings indicate that emotion regulation needs to be considered centrally in research with anxious populations.
Interventions for students with generalized anxiety disorder require attention to contextual factors both within and outside the classroom. They often are based on the principles of increasing environmental predictability and increasing the student’s sense of self-efficacy. Good judgment is sometimes needed to determine which strategies constitute reasonable accommodations to the student’s anxiety and which constitute an excessive deviation from usual school expectations. The latter can single out students unnecessarily or limit their academic progress. Working closely with parents and mental health professionals involved in the student’s care is most likely to ensure a consistently helpful approach.
Ruiz, Miguel A; Álvarez, Enrique; Carrasco, Jose L; Olivares, José M; Pérez, María; Rejas, Javier
Background Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses, with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) being one of the most common. Sleep disturbances are highly prevalent in GAD patients. While treatment with pregabalin has been found to be associated with significant improvement in GAD-related sleep disturbance across many controlled clinical trials, mediational analysis has suggested that a substantial portion of this effect could be the result of a direct effect of pregabalin. Thus, the objective of this study was to model the longitudinal latent effect of pregabalin or usual care (UC) therapies on changes in sleep in outpatients with GAD under routine clinical practice. Methods Male and female GAD outpatients, aged 18 years or above, from a 6-month prospective noninterventional trial were analyzed. Direct and indirect effects of either pregabalin or UC changes in anxiety symptoms (assessed with Hamilton Anxiety Scale) and sleep disturbances (assessed with Medical Outcomes Study-Sleep Scale [MOS-S]) were estimated by a conditional latent curve model applying structural equation modeling. Results A total of 1,546 pregabalin-naïve patients were analyzed, 984 receiving pregabalin and 562 UC. Both symptoms of anxiety and sleep disturbances were significantly improved in both groups, with higher mean (95% confidence interval) score reductions in subjects receiving pregabalin: −15.9 (−15.2; −16.6) vs −14.5 (−13.5; −15.5), P=0.027, in Hamilton Anxiety Scale; and −29.7 (−28.1; −31.3) vs −24.0 (−21.6; −26.4), P<0.001, in MOS-S. The conditional latent curve model showed that the pregabalin effect on sleep disturbances was significant (γ =−3.99, P<0.001), after discounting the effect on reduction in anxiety symptoms. A mediation model showed that 70% of the direct effect of pregabalin on sleep remained after discounting the mediated effect of anxiety improvement. Conclusion A substantial proportion of the incremental
Brown, Gregory G; Ostrowitzki, Susanne; Stein, Murray B; von Kienlin, Markus; Liu, Thomas T; Simmons, Alan; Wierenga, Christina; Stein, Orah Y; Bruns, Andreas; Bischoff-Grethe, Amanda; Paulus, Martin
This study investigated the temporal pattern of brain response to emotional stimuli during 28 days of alprazolam treatment among patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) randomized 2:1 to drug or placebo in a double-blind design. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans obtained during an emotion face matching task (EFMT) and an affective stimulus expectancy task (STIMEX) were performed at baseline, one hour after initial drug administration and 28 days later. Alprazolam significantly reduced scores on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and the Penn State Worry Questionnaire after one week and 28 days of treatment. Brain activation in the amygdala during the EFMT and in the insula during the STIMEX was reduced one hour after alprazolam administration but returned to baseline levels at Day 28. Exploratory analyses revealed significant treatment differences in brain activity during the STIMEX on Day 28 in frontal lobe, caudate nucleus, middle temporal gyrus, secondary visual cortex, and supramarginal gyrus. These results are consistent with the notion that the neural mechanisms supporting sustained treatment effects of benzodiazepines in GAD differ from those underlying their acute effects.
Islam, M R; Ahmed, M U; Islam, M S; Sayeed, M S B; Sadia, F; Chowdhury, Z S; Nahar, Z; Hasnat, A
The relationship between the elevated levels of serum malondialdehyde, depleted level of antioxidants (vitamin A, E and C) and altered level of immunoglobulins (IgA, IgG and IgM) in several psychiatric disorders has been established by various experimental evidences over the past few years. But previously no study was carried out to determine these components in patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in Bangladesh. This study was conducted to compare the serum concentration of these components in GAD patients and healthy volunteers; matched by socioeconomic and sociodemographic parameters. Serum level of malondialdehyde and vitamin C were determined by UV spectrophotometric method, vitamins A and E were detected by RP-HPLC method whereas immunoglobulin levels were determined by turbidimetric method. Data were analyzed by independent t-test, Pearson's correlation and regression analysis. Significantly lower level of vitamin E (p<0.05) and significantly higher level of vitamin C were found in GAD patients than the healthy controls, whereas the change of vitamin A was insignificant. Serum malondialdehyde content was significantly higher (p<0.05) and IgM level was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that of the controls. Change in concentrations of IgG and IgA were insignificant (p>0.05). Pearson's correlation coefficient suggested that there were some significant positive and negative correlations among these tested components. Our study reveals that GAD patients have considerably higher level of malondialdehyde, immunoglobulins and altered level of antioxidant vitamins. These findings may play a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of GAD patients.
Bose, Anjana; Korotzer, Andrew; Gommoll, Carl; Li, Dayong
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a highly prevalent and disabling condition. Escitalopram and venlafaxine extended release (XR) both are indicated for the treatment of GAD. Outpatients (ages 18-65 years) with DSM-IV-defined GAD (Hamilton Anxiety Scale [HAMA] >or=20) were eligible to participate in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, flexible-dose trial. Following randomization, patients received 8 weeks of double-blind treatment with escitalopram (10-20 mg/day; N=127), venlafaxine XR (75-225 mg/day; N=129), or placebo (N=136). The primary efficacy parameter was mean change from baseline at week 8 in HAMA total score, using the Last Observation Carried Forward (LOCF) approach. Secondary efficacy parameters were HAMA psychic anxiety subscale, Clinical Global Impressions of Severity (CGI-S) and Improvement (CGI-I) scales. Treatment was completed by 77% of patients. The least square mean difference for change from baseline at week 8 in HAMA total score for escitalopram and venlafaxine XR versus placebo were -1.52 (P=.09) and -2.27 (P=.01), respectively, for LOCF, and -1.92 (P=.033) and -3.02 (P=.001), respectively, for Observed Cases (OC). On all secondary parameters, both active treatments were significantly superior to placebo on the LOCF and OC analyses. Discontinuation due to adverse events was not different for escitalopram versus placebo (7 versus 5%, P=.61), but was significantly greater for venlafaxine XR (13%) versus placebo (P=.03). Venlafaxine XR, but not escitalopram, separated from placebo on the primary efficacy measure, using the LOCF approach. However, overall efficacy analyses suggest that escitalopram and venlafaxine XR are both effective treatments for GAD. Escitalopram was better tolerated.
Colovic, Olga; Lecic Tosevski, Dusica; Perunicic Mladenovic, Ivana; Milosavljevic, Maja; Munjiza, Ana
Our study was intended to test whether there are any differences in the way defense mechanisms are used by patients suffering from pure anxiety and those with pure depressive disorders. The sample size was as follows: depressive disorders without psychotic symptoms 30, anxiety disorders 30, and the healthy control group 30. The assessment of defense mechanisms was made using the DSQ-40 questionnaire. Our findings show that "pure" anxiety disorders differ from "pure" depressive disorders only in the use of immature defense mechanisms. The group with depressive disorders was significantly more prone to use immature defense mechanisms than the group with anxiety disorders (p = 0.005), primarily projection (p = 0.001) and devaluation (p = 0.003). These defense mechanisms may therefore be used both to differentiate between anxiety and depressive disorders and also to determine which symptoms (anxiety or depressive disorders) are dominant at any given stage of treatment.
Stanley, Melinda A; Diefenbach, Gretchen J; Hopko, Derek R
At least four academic clinical trials have demonstrated the utility of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). These data may not generalize, however, to more heterogeneous and functionally impaired patients and the medical settings in which they typically receive care. A recent pilot project suggested the potential benefits of a new version of CBT for GAD among older patients in primary care. The manual developed and tested in this pilot project is presented here. Treatment components include motivation and education, relaxation skills, cognitive therapy, problem-solving-skills training, exposure exercises, and sleep-management-skills training. Procedures are designed to be administered flexibly to maximize attention to individual patient needs. Examples of session summaries, patient handouts, and homework forms are provided.
Teachman, Bethany A.; Joormann, Jutta; Steinman, Shari; Gotlib, Ian H.
In this paper we examine the nature of automatic cognitive processing in anxiety disorders and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Rather than viewing automaticity as a unitary construct, we follow a social cognition perspective (Bargh, 1994) that argues for four theoretically independent features of automaticity: unconscious (processing of emotional stimuli occurs outside awareness), efficient (processing emotional meaning uses minimal attentional resources), unintentional (no goal is needed to engage in processing emotional meaning), and uncontrollable (limited ability to avoid, alter or terminate processing emotional stimuli). Our review of the literature suggests that most anxiety disorders are characterized by uncontrollable, and likely also unconscious and unintentional, biased processing of threat-relevant information. In contrast, MDD is most clearly typified by uncontrollable, but not unconscious or unintentional, processing of negative information. For the anxiety disorders and for MDD, there is not sufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions about efficiency of processing, though early indications are that neither anxiety disorders nor MDD are characterized by this feature. Clinical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed and directions for future research are offered. In particular, it is clear that paradigms that more directly delineate the different features of automaticity are required to gain a more comprehensive and systematic understanding of the importance of automatic processing in emotion dysregulation. PMID:22858684
Nelson, Jason M.; Lindstrom, Will; Foels, Patricia A.
Test anxiety was examined in college students with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Results indicated that, relative to college students without ADHD, college students with ADHD reported higher total test anxiety as well as specific aspects of test anxiety, including worry (i.e., cognitive aspects of test anxiety) and…
De Berardis, Domenico; Serroni, Nicola; Campanella, Daniela; Marini, Stefano; Rapini, Gabriella; Valchera, Alessandro; Iasevoli, Felice; Mazza, Monica; Fornaro, Michele; Perna, Giampaolo; Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo
The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships between alexithymia, suicide ideation, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), and serum lipid levels in adult outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Seventy consecutive patients with GAD were recruited and evaluated. Measures were the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI), and the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). All patients were assessed for: CRP, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceridaemia (TG), and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C). TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C ratios were also evaluated. Alexithymic patients showed higher scores on almost all rating scales and altered serum CRP and lipid levels vs. non-alexithymics. In the hierarchical regression model, the presence of higher MADRS scores together with higher scores at the Difficulty in Identifying Feelings dimension of TAS-20 were associated with higher rates of suicide ideation. Although alexithymic subjects with GAD may show a CRP and cholesterol dysregulation, this latter seems independent on increased suicide ideation, rather to Difficulty in Identifying Feelings, and subthreshold depressive symptoms. Study limitations and future research implications are discussed.
Alkozei, Anna; Cooper, Peter J.; Creswell, Cathy
Background Two specific cognitive constructs that have been implicated in the development and maintenance of anxiety symptoms are anxiety sensitivity and emotional reasoning, both of which relate to the experience and meaning of physical symptoms of arousal or anxiety. The interpretation of physical symptoms has been particularly implicated in theories of social anxiety disorder, where internal physical symptoms are hypothesized to influence the individual's appraisals of the self as a social object. Method The current study compared 75 children on measures of anxiety sensitivity and emotional reasoning: 25 with social anxiety disorder, 25 with other anxiety disorders, and 25 nonanxious children (aged 7–12 years). Results Children with social anxiety disorder reported higher levels of anxiety sensitivity and were more likely than both other groups to view ambiguous situations as anxiety provoking, whether physical information was present or not. There were no group differences in the extent to which physical information altered children's interpretation of hypothetical scenarios. Limitations This study is the first to investigate emotional reasoning in clinically anxious children and therefore replication is needed. In addition, those in both anxious groups commonly had comorbid conditions and, consequently, specific conclusions about social anxiety disorder need to be treated with caution. Conclusion The findings highlight cognitive characteristics that may be particularly pertinent in the context of social anxiety disorder in childhood and which may be potential targets for treatment. Furthermore, the findings suggest that strategies to modify these particular cognitive constructs may not be necessary in treatments of some other childhood anxiety disorders. PMID:24120086
Brook, Judith S.; Lee, Jung Yeon; Rubenstone, Elizabeth; Brook, David W.; Finch, Stephen J.
Objectives. We modeled triple trajectories of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use from adolescence to adulthood as predictors of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Methods. We assessed urban African American and Puerto Rican participants (n = 816) in the Harlem Longitudinal Development Study, a psychosocial investigation, at 4 time waves (mean ages = 19, 24, 29, and 32 years). We used Mplus to obtain the 3 variable trajectories of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use from time 2 to time 5 and then conducted logistic regression analyses. Results. A 5-trajectory group model, ranging from the use of all 3 substances (23%) to a nonuse group (9%), best fit the data. Membership in the trajectory group that used all 3 substances was associated with an increased likelihood of both ASPD (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 6.83; 95% CI = 1.14, 40.74; P < .05) and GAD (AOR = 4.35; 95% CI = 1.63, 11.63; P < .001) in adulthood, as compared with the nonuse group, with control for earlier proxies of these conditions. Conclusions. Adults with comorbid tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use should be evaluated for use of other substances and for ASPD, GAD, and other psychiatric disorders. Treatment programs should address the use of all 3 substances to decrease the likelihood of comorbid psychopathology. PMID:24922120
There is a substantial literature relating the personality trait "anxiety sensitivity" (AS; tendency to fear anxiety-related sensations) and its lower order dimensions to the mood and anxiety (i.e., internalizing) disorders. However, particularly given the disorders' high comorbidity rates, it remains unclear whether AS is broadly related to these…
Réus, Gislaine Z; Dos Santos, Maria Augusta B; Abelaira, Helena M; Quevedo, João
Anxiety disorders pose one of the largest threats to global mental health, and they predominantly emerge early in life. Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is the most common of all anxiety disorders. Moreover, it has severe consequences and is a disabling disorder that can cause an individual to be unable to perform the tasks of daily life. Social anxiety disorder is associated with the subsequent development of major depression and other mental diseases, as well as increased substance abuse. Although some neurobiological alterations have been found to be associated with social anxiety disorder, little is known about this disorder. Animal models are useful tools for the investigation of this disorder, as well as for finding new pharmacological targets for treatment. Thus, this review will highlight the main animal models of anxiety associated with social phobia.
In addition to genetic factors, the role of epigenetic and other environmental factors in the promotion of anxiety disorder has attracted much attention in psychiatric research. When stress is encountered in the environment, the hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal system (HPA system) is activated and cortisol is secreted. CRHR gene function is closely related to this response. As a result of haplotype analysis of CRHR genes in depression and panic disorder patients, it was found that genetic polymorphism of CRHR1 and CRHR2 was related to both disorders. It is reported that abused children are more susceptible to developing depression and anxiety disorder upon reaching adulthood, but there also exist genetic polymorphisms that may moderate this relationship. Direct methylation of DNA (typically repressing gene expression) and modification of chromatin structure (complexes of histone proteins and DNA) via acetylation (typically facilitating gene expression) represent epigenetic modifications that are thought to influence behavioral phenotypes. For example, it is rare that schizophrenia develops in identical twins brought up together in the same environment, and thus phenotypic differences cannot be explained simply by genetic polymorphism. We also evaluated salivary cortisol and amylase reactivity (indices of the HPA system and sympathoadrenal medullary system, respectfully) after electrical stimulation stress and Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) administration. Here we found differences in the cortisol stress response between electrical stimulation and TSST stressors, in contrast to the theory of Selye. In addition, we found alterations in activity patterns and difficulties integrating sensorimotor information in panic disorder patients, suggesting links between sensorimotor integration and stress in panic disorder. Moreover, state and trait anxiety may be associated with stabilograph factors.
Koponen, Hannu; Allgulander, Christer; Erickson, Janelle; Dunayevich, Eduardo; Pritchett, Yili; Detke, Michael J.; Ball, Susan G.; Russell, James M.
Objective: This study examined the efficacy and tolerability of duloxetine, a dual reuptake inhibitor of serotonin and norepinephrine, for the treatment of patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Method: Patients were ≥ 18 years old and recruited from 5 European countries, the United States, and South Africa. The study had a 9-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, fixed-dose, placebo-controlled, parallel-group design. A total of 513 patients (mean age = 43.8 years; 67.8% female) with a DSM-IV–defined GAD diagnosis received treatment with duloxetine 60 mg/day (N = 168), duloxetine 120 mg/day (N = 170), or placebo (N = 175). The primary efficacy measure was the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A) total score. Secondary measures included the Sheehan Disability Scale, HAM-A psychic and somatic anxiety factor scores, and HAM-A response, remission, and sustained improvement rates. The study was conducted from July 2004 to September 2005. Results: Both groups of duloxetine-treated patients demonstrated significantly greater improvements in anxiety symptom severity compared with placebo-treated patients as measured by HAM-A total score and HAM-A psychic and somatic anxiety factor scores (p values ranged from ≤ .01 to ≤ .001). Duloxetine-treated patients had greater functional improvements in Sheehan Disability Scale global and specific domain scores (p ≤ .001) than placebo-treated patients. Both duloxetine doses also resulted in significantly greater HAM-A response, remission, and sustained improvement rates compared with placebo (p values ranged from ≤ .01 to ≤ .001). The rate of study discontinuation due to adverse events was 11.3% for duloxetine 60 mg and 15.3% for duloxetine 120 mg versus 2.3% for placebo (p ≤ .001). Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate that duloxetine 60 mg/day and 120 mg/day were efficacious and well tolerated and thus may provide primary care physicians with a useful pharmacologic intervention for
Hofmann, Stefan G.; Mundy, Elizabeth A.; Curtiss, Joshua
Although exposure-based treatments and anxiolytic medications are more effective than placebo for treating anxiety disorders, there is still considerable room for further improvement. Interestingly, combining these two modalities is usually not more effective than the monotherapies. Recent translational research has identified a number of novel approaches for treating anxiety disorders using agents that serve as neuroenhancers (also known as cognitive enhancers). Several of these agents have been studied to determine their efficacy at improving treatment outcome for patients with anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. In this review, we examine d-cycloserine, yohimbine, cortisol, catecholamines, oxytocin, modafinil, and nutrients such as caffeine and amino fatty acids as potential neuroenhancers. Of these agents, d-cycloserine shows the most promise as an effective neuroenhancer for extinction learning and exposure therapy. Yet, the optimal dosing and dose timing for drug administration remains uncertain. There is partial support for cortisol, catecholamines, yohimbine and oxytocin for improving extinction learning and exposure therapy. There is less evidence to indicate that modafinil and nutrients such as caffeine and amino fatty acids are effective neuroenhancers. More research is needed to determine their long term efficacy and clinical utility of these agents. PMID:26306326
Pontone, Gregory M.; Williams, James R.; Anderson, Karen E.; Chase, Gary; Goldstein, Susanne R.; Grill, Stephen; Hirsch, Elaina S.; Lehmann, Susan; Little, John T.; Margolis, Russell L.; Palanci, Justin; Rabins, Peter V.; Weiss, Howard D.; Marsh, Laura
Objective Neither best practices nor an evidence-base for the pharmacologic treatment of anxiety in Parkinson's disease has been established. This study investigated pharmacologic treatment of anxiety disorders in idiopathic Parkinson's disease and the associated clinical features. Design Cross-sectional. Setting Three community-based movement disorder neurology practices Participants 250 subjects with Parkinson's disease. Measurements Anxiety disorder diagnoses were established by consensus using a panel of six psychiatrists with expertise in geriatric psychiatry and movement disorders. Current medications were provided by the treating neurologists at the time of interview. Results Amongst subjects with anxiety disorders only, 53% were untreated with medications. However, when anxious subjects with comorbid depressive disorders were included, 70.8% were on medications effective for treatment of anxiety. Subjects with anxiety and comorbid depressive disorders were more likely to be treated for their psychiatric disturbances than subjects with anxiety disorders alone (Odds Ratio 8.33) as were subjects with comorbid motor fluctuations (Odds Ratio, 3.65). There were no differences in the types of anti-anxiety medications used in regard to the presence of depression or motor fluctuations. Conclusions These findings suggest that over half of non-depressed Parkinson's disease patients with clinically significant anxiety are untreated with medication. A better understanding of the role of clinical features associated with anxiety in PD, such as depression and motor fluctuations, may improve the recognition and treatment of anxiety disorders in this population. PMID:23567419
Tyagi, Himanshu; Patel, Rupal; Rughooputh, Fabienne; Abrahams, Hannah; Watson, Andrew J.; Drummond, Lynne
Objective. The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of comorbid eating disorders in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other common anxiety disorders. Method. 179 patients from the same geographical area with a diagnosis of OCD or an anxiety disorder were divided into two groups based on their primary diagnosis. The prevalence of a comorbid eating disorder was calculated in both groups. Results. There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of comorbid eating disorders between the OCD and other anxiety disorders group. Conclusions. These results suggest that the prevalence of comorbid eating disorders does not differ in anxiety disorders when compared with OCD. However, in both groups, it remains statistically higher than that of the general population. PMID:26366407
Forero, Giovanna; Mathews, Maju; Nunez, Rene; Tang, Xiongwen; Durgam, Suresh; Sambunaris, Angelo
Vilazodone is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and a 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist that is approved for treatment of major depressive disorder in adults in the USA and Mexico. The efficacy, safety, and tolerability of vilazodone for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were investigated in a clinical trial (NCT01766401 ClinicalTrials.gov). Participants (18–70 years, inclusive) who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text revision, criteria for GAD were randomized (1 : 1) to placebo or flexible-dose vilazodone (20–40 mg/day) for 8 weeks of double-blind treatment. Primary and secondary efficacy parameters were changes from baseline to week 8 in Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety and Sheehan Disability Scale total scores, respectively. Analysis was based on a mixed-effects model for repeated measures approach on the intent-to-treat population. The intent-to-treat population comprised 395 patients (placebo=197, vilazodone=198); 77% completed the study. The least squares mean difference in change from baseline to week 8 in the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety total score was statistically significant for vilazodone versus placebo [−1.50 (−2.96, −0.04), P=0.0438]. The mean change from baseline to week 8 in the Sheehan Disability Scale total score for vilazodone versus placebo was not statistically significant. Adverse events were reported in 60% of placebo-treated and 83% of vilazodone-treated patients. This was a positive clinical trial of 20–40 mg/day vilazodone versus placebo in the treatment of GAD. PMID:26291335
Gommoll, Carl; Forero, Giovanna; Mathews, Maju; Nunez, Rene; Tang, Xiongwen; Durgam, Suresh; Sambunaris, Angelo
Vilazodone is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and a 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist that is approved for treatment of major depressive disorder in adults in the USA and Mexico. The efficacy, safety, and tolerability of vilazodone for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were investigated in a clinical trial (NCT01766401 ClinicalTrials.gov). Participants (18-70 years, inclusive) who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text revision, criteria for GAD were randomized (1:1) to placebo or flexible-dose vilazodone (20-40 mg/day) for 8 weeks of double-blind treatment. Primary and secondary efficacy parameters were changes from baseline to week 8 in Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety and Sheehan Disability Scale total scores, respectively. Analysis was based on a mixed-effects model for repeated measures approach on the intent-to-treat population. The intent-to-treat population comprised 395 patients (placebo=197, vilazodone=198); 77% completed the study. The least squares mean difference in change from baseline to week 8 in the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety total score was statistically significant for vilazodone versus placebo [-1.50 (-2.96, -0.04), P=0.0438]. The mean change from baseline to week 8 in the Sheehan Disability Scale total score for vilazodone versus placebo was not statistically significant. Adverse events were reported in 60% of placebo-treated and 83% of vilazodone-treated patients. This was a positive clinical trial of 20-40 mg/day vilazodone versus placebo in the treatment of GAD.
Background Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry, has a negative impact on the health, well-being, and functioning of older adults. Cognitive behavioral therapy has demonstrated efficacy in reducing anxiety and worry in older adults, but the generalizability of these findings to community-dwelling older adults is unknown. The aim of the current study is to examine the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral intervention delivered by telephone in reducing anxiety and worry in rural community-dwelling older adults with GAD. Methods/Design We propose a randomized controlled trial comparing telephone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-T) with nondirective supportive therapy (NST-T). One hundred seventy six adults 60 years and older diagnosed with GAD will be randomized to one of the two treatment conditions. The primary outcomes are self-report worry and clinician-rated anxiety. Secondary outcomes include depressive symptoms, sleep, quality of life, and functional status. Discussion It is hypothesized that CBT-T will be superior to NST-T in reducing anxiety and worry among older adults with GAD. Further, CBT-T is hypothesized to be superior to NST-T in reducing problems with depressive symptoms, sleep, functional status and quality of life. If this program is successful, it could be implemented as a low-cost program to treat late-life anxiety, especially in rural areas or in circumstances where older adults may not have access to qualified mental health providers. Trial registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01259596 PMID:24506950
Ferdinand, Robert F.; Dieleman, Gwen; Ormel, Johan; Verhulst, Frank C.
Objective: To investigate homotypic and heterotypic longitudinal patterns of symptoms of separation anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia (SoPh), panic disorder (PD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in young adolescents from the Dutch general population. Method: 2,067 individuals (51.4% girls) from a…
Niles, Andrea N; Lebeau, Richard T; Liao, Betty; Glenn, Daniel E; Craske, Michelle G
For DSM-V, simple dimensional measures of disorder severity will accompany diagnostic criteria. The current studies examine convergent validity and test-retest reliability of two potential dimensional indicators of worry severity for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): percent of the day worried and number of worry domains. In study 1, archival data from diagnostic interviews from a community sample of individuals diagnosed with one or more anxiety disorders (n = 233) were used to assess correlations between percent of the day worried and number of worry domains with other measures of worry severity (clinical severity rating (CSR), age of onset, number of comorbid disorders, Penn state worry questionnaire (PSWQ)) and DSM-IV criteria (excessiveness, uncontrollability and number of physical symptoms). Both measures were significantly correlated with CSR and number of comorbid disorders, and with all three DSM-IV criteria. In study 2, test-retest reliability of percent of the day worried and number of worry domains were compared to test-retest reliability of DSM-IV diagnostic criteria in a non-clinical sample of undergraduate students (n = 97) at a large west coast university. All measures had low test-retest reliability except percent of the day worried, which had moderate test-retest reliability. Findings suggest that these two indicators capture worry severity, and percent of the day worried may be the most reliable existing indicator. These measures may be useful as dimensional measures for DSM-V.
Mohatt, Justin; Bennett, Shannon M; Walkup, John T
Separation, generalized, and social anxiety disorders are common and impairing for children and adolescents. Childhood-onset anxiety disorders frequently persist into adulthood and place youths at risk for future psychiatric disorders, including mood and substance use disorders. Comorbidity is common in childhood anxiety disorders, and studies increasingly take this into account when assessing potential treatments. Existing studies support a number of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments for childhood anxiety disorders. The strongest evidence supports use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Combination treatment with SSRIs and CBT has been found to be more effective than either treatment alone. Early detection and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders can prevent substantial impairment over the course of a child's development and accumulation of functional disability. Early treatment also may prevent later development of adult psychiatric illness. The authors review the treatment literature and present the case of an adolescent who is brought in for evaluation after years of untreated anxiety.
... include Panic disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder Post-traumatic stress disorder Phobias Generalized anxiety disorder Treatment can involve medicines, therapy or both. NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
Mas, S; Pagerols, M; Gassó, P; Ortiz, A; Rodriguez, N; Morer, A; Plana, M T; Lafuente, A; Lazaro, L
One of the leading biological models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the frontal-striatal-thalamic model. This study undertakes an extensive exploration of the variability in genes related to the regulation of the frontal-striatal-thalamic system in a sample of early-onset OCD trios. To this end, we genotyped 266 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 35 genes in 84 OCD probands and their parents. Finally, 75 complete trios were included in the analysis. Twenty SNPs were overtransmitted from parents to early-onset OCD probands and presented nominal pointwise P < 0.05 values. Three of these polymorphisms achieved P < 2 × 10(-4), the significant P-value after Bonferroni corrections: rs8190748 and rs992990 localized in GAD2 and rs2000292 in HTR1B. When we stratified our sample according to gender, different trends were observed between males and females. In males, SNP rs2000292 (HTR1B) showed the lowest P-value (P = 0.0006), whereas the SNPs in GAD2 were only marginally significant (P = 0.01). In contrast, in females HTR1B polymorphisms were not significant, whereas rs8190748 (GAD2) showed the lowest P-value (P = 0.0006). These results are in agreement with several lines of evidence that indicate a role for the serotonin and γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) pathways in the risk of early-onset OCD and with the gender differences in OCD pathophysiology reported elsewhere. However, our results need to be replicated in studies with larger cohorts in order to confirm these associations.
Clayton, Anita H; Durgam, Suresh; Tang, Xiongwen; Chen, Changzheng; Ruth, Adam; Gommoll, Carl
Background Vilazodone has been shown to reduce core symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Since sexual dysfunction (SD) is not well characterized in GAD, a post hoc analysis of these trials was conducted to evaluate the effects of vilazodone on sexual functioning in GAD patients. Materials and methods Data were pooled from one fixed-dose trial of vilazodone 20 and 40 mg/day (NCT01629966) and two flexible-dose studies of vilazodone 20–40 mg/day (NCT01766401, NCT01844115) in adults with GAD. Sexual functioning was assessed using the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ). Outcomes included mean change from baseline to end of treatment (EOT) in CSFQ total score and percentage of patients shifting from SD at baseline (CSFQ total score ≤47 for males, ≤41 for females) to normal functioning at EOT. Treatment-emergent adverse events related to sexual functioning were also analyzed. Results A total of 1,373 patients were included in the analyses. SD at baseline was more common in females (placebo, 46.4%; vilazodone, 49%) than in males (placebo, 35.1%; vilazodone, 40.9%). CSFQ total score improvement was found in both females (placebo, +1.2; vilazodone, +1.6) and males (placebo, +2.1; vilazodone, +1.0), with no statistically significant differences between treatment groups. The percentage of patients who shifted from SD at baseline to normal sexual functioning at EOT was higher in males (placebo, 40.6%; vilazodone, 35.7%) than in females (placebo, 24.9%; vilazodone, 34.9%); no statistical testing was performed. Except for erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation in vilazodone-treated males (2.4% and 2.1%, respectively), no treatment-emergent adverse events related to sexual functioning occurred in ≥2% of patients in either treatment group. Conclusion Approximately 35%–50% of patients in the vilazodone GAD studies had SD at baseline. Vilazodone and placebo had similar effects on
Nagata, Toshihiko; Suzuki, Futoshi; Teo, Alan R
In the 3 decades since Liebowitz's review of 'a neglected anxiety disorder,' controversy and challenges have remained in the study of social anxiety disorder (SAD). This review examines evidence around the classification and subtyping of SAD, focusing on generalized SAD. Substantial discrepancies and variation in definition, epidemiology, assessment, and treatment of generalized SAD exist as the international literature on it has grown. In East Asian cultures in particular, study of taijin kyofusho has been important to a broadened conceptualization of SAD into generalized SAD. Despite important progress with biological and other studies, many challenges in the understanding of generalized SAD will remain in the years to come.
Kertz, Sarah J; McHugh, R Kathryn; Lee, Josephine; Björgvinsson, Thröstur
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by "pathological" worry, suggesting that GAD worriers differ qualitatively from non-GAD worriers. However, results from taxometric studies of worry in undergraduate and community samples have been mixed and to date, no studies have utilized clinical samples. The current study examined the latent structure of worry and GAD symptoms in a diagnostically heterogeneous clinical sample. Indicators were selected from the Penn State Worry Questionnaire-Abbreviated (n=1175) and the GAD-7 (n=638) and submitted to three taxometric procedures: MAXCOV, MAMBAC, and L-Mode. Results from all three procedures suggested that both worry and generalized anxiety are best conceptualized as dimensional constructs. Findings also indicated that ongoing conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of worry and GAD may be hampered by the application of a categorical framework.
Otto, Michael W; Simon, Naomi M; Powers, Mark; Hinton, Devon; Zalta, Alyson K; Pollack, Mark H
Initial research suggests that rates of isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) are elevated in individuals with panic disorder and particularly low in individuals with other anxiety disorders. To further evaluate these findings, we examined rates of ISP in a sample outpatients with primary diagnoses of panic disorder (n=24), social anxiety disorder (n=18), or generalized anxiety disorder (n=18). We obtained an overall rate of ISP of 19.7%; rates for patients with panic disorder (20.8%) fell between those with generalized anxiety disorder (15.8%) and social phobia (22.2%). Analysis of comorbidities failed to provide evidence of link between depressive disorders and ISP, but did indicate a significant association between anxiety comorbidity and higher rates of ISP. Results are discussed relative to other variables predicting variability in the occurrence of ISP.
Hirshfeld-Becker, Dina R.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common disorder that can lead to significant impairment. In this chapter, the author provides background on the disorder and reviews hypothesized familial and temperamental risk factors. In particular, it highlights the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Longitudinal Study of Children at Risk for Anxiety, now…
Baldwin, David S; Loft, Henrik; Florea, Ioana
The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term maintenance of the efficacy of Lu AA21004 5 or 10 mg/day in the prevention of relapse in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Patients (n = 687) with a primary diagnosis of GAD (DSM-IV criteria) and a baseline Hamilton Anxiety (HAM-A) total score of at least 20 underwent a 20-week, open-label Lu AA21004 treatment. In all, 459 patients responded and were randomized to 24-56 weeks of a double-blind treatment with Lu AA21004 (n = 229) or placebo (n = 230). The predefined primary efficacy endpoint was time to relapse (HAM-A total score ≥ 15) using a Cox model; the key secondary efficacy endpoint under multiplicity control was time to relapse for patients responding to treatment for at least 12 weeks. The primary analysis showed a statistically significant effect of Lu AA21004 relative to the placebo on the time to relapse of GAD, with a hazard ratio of 2.71 (P < 0.001). There was a statistically significant effect of Lu AA21004 in the stable responders (hazard ratio = 3.06, P < 0.001). Lu AA21004 was well tolerated, with withdrawal rates due to adverse events of 9% (open-label) and 3% (placebo) and 4% (Lu AA21004) in the double-blind period. In this study, Lu AA21004 5 or 10 mg/day was efficacious in preventing relapse and was well tolerated in the maintenance treatment of GAD.
Griffiths, Helen; Fazel, Mina
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health disorders of childhood. Three quarters of anxiety disorders have their origins in childhood, with presentation often chronic in nature. Children with an anxiety disorder are 3.5 times more likely to experience depression or anxiety in adulthood, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Making a diagnosis can often prove difficult. It is important for clinicians to distinguish between normal anxiety and anxiety disorders. In the latter, symptoms may impair function and/or cause marked avoidance behaviour and significant distress. Younger children, who are less able to verbalise their anxiety, may show symptoms of regression of physical abilities (e.g. toileting, requiring carrying); increased attachment seeking behaviours (e.g. becoming more clingy); or increased physical symptoms (e.g. stomach aches). NICE quality standards recommend the need for an accurate assessment of which specific anxiety disorder the individual is experiencing, its severity, and the impact on functioning. NICE guidance for assessment of social anxiety disorder may be extrapolated to the assessment of other anxiety disorders: e.g. giving the child the opportunity to provide information on their own, and conducting a risk assessment. Where the child is experiencing significant distress or functional impairment (e.g. missing school, not taking part in age-appropriate activity), then specialist input is likely to be needed.
Allan, Nicholas P; Oglesby, Mary E; Short, Nicole A; Schmidt, Norman B
Panic attacks (PAs) are characterized by overwhelming surges of fear and discomfort and are one of the most frequently occurring symptoms in psychiatric populations. The most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (i.e. DSM-5) allows for a panic attack (PA) specifier for all disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, there is little research examining differences between individuals diagnosed with SAD with the PA specifier versus individuals diagnosed with SAD without the PA specifier. The current study examined social anxiety, mood, anxiety, and anxiety sensitivity social concerns, a risk factor for social anxiety in SAD-diagnosed individuals without (N = 52) and with (N = 14) the PA specifier. The groups differed only in somatic symptoms of anxiety. Result of the current study provides preliminary evidence that the presence of the PA specifier in social anxiety does not result in elevated levels of comorbidity or a more severe presentation of social anxiety.
Background The negative effect of exposure to traumatic events on mental health is well known. Most studies of the effects of trauma on mental health in war-affected populations have focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Although some studies confirm the existence of anxiety symptoms in war-affected populations, the extent to which exposure to traumatic events is independently associated with anxiety diagnoses (other than PTSD) has received less attention. The study aimed to determine whether having an anxiety diagnosis, other than PTSD, was associated with experiencing traumatic events in a post-conflict setting, across genders and after controlling for demographic and socio-economic variables. Methods In this cross-sectional community study (n = 1200), we applied the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) to investigate the extent of trauma exposure and PTSD. The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) was used to investigate the prevalence of anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and agoraphobia. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between these disorders, previous trauma exposure, and socio-economic factors. Results The participants were 56.4% male and 43.6% female. The age ranged between 18 and 73 years old (Mean 34.63, SD = 12.03). The estimated rates of GAD-only and PD-only (without comorbidity with PTSD) were 5.5% and 3.1%, respectively. Exposure to traumatic events and socio-economic disadvantage were significantly associated with having one or more anxiety diagnoses. After controlling for age, sex, rural/urban setting, and socio-economic disadvantage, exposure to trauma was independently associated with anxiety diagnosis. There were gender differences in the pattern of risk factors for having PTSD, GAD or PD. Conclusion In individuals with a history of war-related trauma
The Feasibility, Acceptability, and Efficacy of Delivering Internet-Based Self-Help and Guided Self-Help Interventions for Generalized Anxiety Disorder to Indian University Students: Design of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Newman, Michelle G; Ruzek, Josef I; Kuhn, Eric; Manjula, M; Jones, Megan; Thomas, Neil; Abbott, Jo-Anne M; Sharma, Smita; Taylor, C. Barr
Background Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common mental disorders among university students; however, many students go untreated due to treatment costs, stigma concerns, and limited access to trained mental health professionals. These barriers are heightened in universities in India, where there are scant mental health care services and severe stigma surrounding help seeking. Objective To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of Internet-based, or “online,” cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based unguided and guided self-help interventions (using the programs GAD Online and Lantern, respectively) to reduce GAD symptoms in students with clinical and subthreshold GAD and, ultimately, reduce the prevalence and incidence of GAD among the student population. Methods Students will be recruited via 3 colleges in Hyderabad, India, and referred for a campus-wide online screening. Self-report data will be collected entirely online. A total of 300 qualifying students will be randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive GAD Online, Lantern, or to be in a wait-list control condition, stratified by clinical and subthreshold GAD symptomatology. Students will complete a postintervention assessment after 3 months and a follow-up assessment 6 months later, at which point students in the wait-list control condition will receive one of the programs. The primary outcome is GAD symptom severity at 3 months postintervention. Secondary outcomes include GAD caseness at 9 months, other anxiety and depression symptoms, self-efficacy, and functional measures (eg, sleep, social functioning) at 3 and 9 months, respectively. Primary analyses will be differences between each of the intervention groups and the wait-list control group, analyzed on an intention-to-treat (ITT) basis using mixed-design ANOVA. Results The study commenced in February 2015. The sample was recruited over a 3-week period at each college. The trial is expected to end in December 2015
Aderka, Idan M; Gutner, Cassidy A; Lazarov, Amit; Hermesh, Haggai; Hofmann, Stefan G; Marom, Sofi
Body dysmorphic disorder falls under the category of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, yet research has suggested it may also be highly associated with social anxiety disorder. The current study examined body image variables among 68 outpatients with primary obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; n=22), social anxiety disorder (SAD; n=25), and panic disorder (PD; n=21). Participants filled out self-report measures of body image disturbance, attitudes toward one's appearance, and anxiety. Body image disturbance and attitudes toward appearance did not significantly differ between the groups. However, SAD symptoms predicted body image disturbance, Appearance Evaluation and Body Areas Satisfaction, and OCD symptoms predicted Appearance Orientation. These findings suggest that SAD and OCD may be associated with different facets of body image. Implications for the treatment of anxiety disorders and for future research are discussed.
Counsell, Alyssa; Furtado, Melissa; Iorio, Christina; Anand, Leena; Canzonieri, Alexandra; Fine, Alexa; Fotinos, Kathryn; Epstein, Irvin; Katzman, Martin A
Research suggests that Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) is related to the severity of suffering in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). However, its role in Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) has not been extensively studied. This study examines IU in a clinical sample of 248 individuals referred to a tertiary care clinic. Few individuals had a diagnosis of pure SAD or pure GAD, but we examined differences of IU scores by diagnostic category. We further examined the relationships between IU scores, social anxiety scores, and worry through a structural equation model. We found that diagnostic category (SAD versus GAD) accounted for little variability in IU scores, but IU scores were strongly related to symptoms of both GAD and SAD. Results highlight that IU is related to both social anxiety and worry; however aspects of IU associated with being unable to act or avoiding uncertainty are more strongly associated with SAD symptoms, whereas aspects of IU more associated with general stress and perceiving uncertainty as unfair are more strongly associated with GAD symptoms. Our results suggest that IU is an important concept for both social anxiety and generalized anxiety, however the relationship between IU and symptoms of these disorders manifests differently.
Creswell, Cathy; Apetroaia, Adela; Murray, Lynne; Cooper, Peter
Parental emotional distress, particularly high maternal anxiety, is one of the most consistent predictors of child anxiety treatment outcome. In order to identify the cognitive, affective, and behavioral parenting characteristics of mothers of children with anxiety disorders who themselves have an anxiety disorder, we assessed the expectations, appraisals, and behaviors of 88 mothers of anxious children (44 mothers who were not anxious [NONANX] and 44 mothers with a current anxiety disorder [ANX]) when interacting with their 7-12-year-old children. There were no observed differences in anxiety and avoidance among children of ANX and NONANX mothers, but, compared with NONANX mothers, ANX mothers held more negative expectations, and they differed on observations of intrusiveness, expressed anxiety, warmth, and the quality of the relationship. Associations were moderated by the degree to which children expressed anxiety during the tasks. Maternal-reported negative emotions during the task significantly mediated the association between maternal anxiety status and the observed quality of the relationship. These findings suggest that maternal anxiety disorder is associated with reduced tolerance of children's negative emotions. This may interfere with the maintenance of a positive, supportive mother-child interaction under conditions of stress and, as such, this may impede optimum treatment outcomes. The findings identify potential cognitive, affective, and behavioral targets to improve treatment outcomes for children with anxiety disorders in the context of a current maternal anxiety disorder.
Dias, Gisele Pereira; Bevilaqua, Mário Cesar do Nascimento; da Luz, Anna Claudia Domingos Silveira; Fleming, Renata Lopes; de Carvalho, Lítia Alves; Cocks, Graham; Beckman, Danielle; Hosken, Lucas Costa; de Sant'Anna Machado, William; Corrêa-e-Castro, Ana Carolina; Mousovich-Neto, Felippe; de Castro Gomes, Vítor; Bastos, Gilmara de Nazareth Tavares; Kubrusly, Regina Célia Cussa; da Costa, Vânia Maria Corrêa; Srivastava, Deepak; Landeira-Fernandez, Jesus; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Thuret, Sandrine; Gardino, Patricia Franca
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is highly prevalent and incapacitating. Here we used the Carioca High-Conditioned Freezing (CHF) rats, a previously validated animal model for GAD, to identify biomarkers and structural changes in the hippocampus that could be part of the underlying mechanisms of their high-anxiety profile. Spatial and fear memory was assessed in the Morris water maze and passive avoidance test. Serum corticosterone levels, immunofluorescence for glucocorticoid receptors (GR) in the dentate gyrus (DG), and western blotting for hippocampal brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were performed. Immunohistochemistry for markers of cell proliferation (bromodeoxiuridine/Ki-67), neuroblasts (doublecortin), and cell survival were undertaken in the DG, along with spine staining (Golgi) and dendritic arborization tracing. Hippocampal GABA release was assessed by neurochemical assay. Fear memory was higher among CHF rats whilst spatial learning was preserved. Serum corticosterone levels were increased, with decreased GR expression. No differences were observed in hippocampal cell proliferation/survival, but the number of newborn neurons was decreased, along with their number and length of tertiary dendrites. Increased expression of proBDNF and dendritic spines was observed; lower ratio of GABA release in the hippocampus was also verified. These findings suggest that generalized anxiety/fear could be associated with different hippocampal biomarkers, such as increased spine density, possibly as a compensatory mechanism for the decreased hippocampal number of neuroblasts and dendritic arborization triggered by high corticosterone. Disruption of GABAergic signaling and BDNF impairment are also proposed as part of the hippocampal mechanisms possibly underlying the anxious phenotype of this model.
Essau, Cecilia A.; Lewinsohn, Peter M.; Olaya, Beatriz; Seeley, John R.
Background Anxiety disorders are associated with adverse psychosocial functioning, and are predictive of a wide range of psychiatric disorders in adulthood. Objective The present study examined the associations between anxiety disorders during childhood and adolescence and psychosocial outcomes at age 30, and sought to address the extent to which psychopathology after age 19 mediated these relations. Method Eight hundred and sixteen participants from a large community sample were interviewed twice during adolescence, at age 24, and at age 30. They completed self-report measures of psychosocial functioning and semi-structured diagnostic interviews during adolescence and young adulthood. Results Childhood anxiety only predicted less years of completed education at age 30, whereas adolescent anxiety predicted income, unemployment, maladjustment, poor coping skills, more chronic stress and life events. Adult major depressive disorder (MDD) was the only disorder predicted by childhood anxiety, whereas adolescent anxiety predicted MDD, substance (SUD) and alcohol abuse/dependence (AUD) in adulthood. No adult psychopathology mediated the relationship between childhood anxiety disorders and psychosocial outcomes at age 30. Adult MDD, SUD and AUD partially or completely mediated the association between adolescent anxiety and most domains of psychosocial functioning at age 30. Limitations The participants are ethically and geographically homogenous, and changes in the diagnostic criteria and the interview schedules across the assessment periods. Conclusion Adolescent anxiety, compared to childhood anxiety, is associated with more adverse psychosocial outcomes at age 30. Adolescent anxiety affects negative outcomes at age 30 directly and through MDD, SUD and AUD. PMID:24456837
Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Gould, Thomas J.
Anxiety disorders are a group of crippling mental diseases affecting millions of Americans with a 30% lifetime prevalence and costs associated with healthcare of $42.3 billion. While anxiety disorders show high levels of co-morbidity with smoking (45.3% vs. 22.5% in healthy individuals), anxiety disorders are also more common among the smoking population (22% vs. 11.1% in the non-smoking population). Moreover, there is clear evidence that smoking modulates symptom severity in patients with anxiety disorders. In order to better understand this relationship, several animal paradigms are used to model several key symptoms of anxiety disorders; these include fear conditioning and measures of anxiety. Studies clearly demonstrate that nicotine mediates acquisition and extinction of fear as well as anxiety through the modulation of specific subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in brain regions involved in emotion processing such as the hippocampus. However, the direction of nicotine’s effects on these behaviors is determined by several factors that include the length of administration, hippocampus-dependency of the fear learning task, and source of anxiety (novelty-driven vs. social anxiety). Overall, the studies reviewed here suggest that nicotine alters behaviors related to fear and anxiety and that nicotine contributes to the development, maintenance, and reoccurrence of anxiety disorders. PMID:26231942
Apetroaia, Adela; Hill, Claire; Creswell, Cathy
Background High levels of parental anxiety are associated with poor treatment outcomes for children with anxiety disorders. Associated parental cognitions and behaviours have been implicated as impediments to successful treatment. We examined the association between parental responsibility beliefs, maternal anxiety and parenting behaviours in the context of childhood anxiety disorders. Methods Anxious and non-anxious mothers of 7–12 year old children with a current anxiety disorder reported their parental responsibility beliefs using a questionnaire measure. Parental behaviours towards their child during a stressor task were measured. Results Parents with a current anxiety disorder reported a greater sense of responsibility for their child's actions and wellbeing than parents who scored within the normal range for anxiety. Furthermore, higher parental responsibility was associated with more intrusive and less warm behaviours in parent–child interactions and there was an indirect effect between maternal anxiety and maternal intrusive behaviours via parental responsibility beliefs. Limitations The sample was limited to a treatment-seeking, relatively high socio-economic population and only mothers were included so replication with more diverse groups is needed. The use of a range of stressor tasks may have allowed for a more comprehensive assessment of parental behaviours. Conclusions The findings suggest that parental anxiety disorder is associated with an elevated sense of parental responsibility and may promote parental behaviours likely to inhibit optimum child treatment outcomes. Parental responsibility beliefs may therefore be important to target in child anxiety treatments in the context of parental anxiety disorders. PMID:26363612
Rao, Mukund G.; Mishra, Shree; Varambally, Shivarama; Nagarajarao, Shivashankar; Gangadhar, Bangalore N.
The authors report a case of a 47-year-old man who presented with treatment-resistant anxiety disorder. Behavioral observation raised clinical suspicion of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. The presence of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder was confirmed on audiological investigations. The patient was experiencing extreme symptoms of anxiety, which initially masked the underlying diagnosis of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Challenges in diagnosis and treatment of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder are discussed. PMID:26351622
Brown, Timothy A.; Naragon-Gainey, Kristin
The triple vulnerability model (Barlow, 2000, 2002) posits that three vulnerabilities contribute to the etiology of emotional disorders: (1) general biological vulnerability (i.e., dimensions of temperament such as neuroticism and extraversion); (2) general psychological vulnerability (i.e., perceived control over life stress and emotional states); (3) disorder-specific psychological vulnerability (e.g., thought-action fusion for obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD). Despite the prominence of this model, a comprehensive empirical evaluation has not yet been undertaken. The current study used structural equation modeling to test the triple vulnerability model in a large clinical sample (N = 700), focusing on vulnerabilities for depression, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and OCD. Specifically, we examined the incremental prediction of each level of the triple vulnerability model for each disorder, with the following putative disorder-specific psychological vulnerabilities: thought-action fusion (TAF) for OCD, the dysfunctional attitudes (DAS) for depression, and intolerance of uncertainty (IoU) for GAD. In the final model that included all three levels of vulnerabilities, neuroticism had significant direct effects on all four disorder constructs, and extraversion was inversely associated with depression and social phobia. However, perceived control was significantly associated with GAD and OCD only. Of the disorder-specific psychological vulnerabilities, TAF was significantly and specifically related to OCD. In contrast, DAS and IoU were not significant predictors of depression and GAD respectively, instead contributing to other disorders. The results are discussed in regard to structural models of the emotional disorders and the various roles of general and specific vulnerability dimensions in the onset, severity, and temporal course of psychopathology. PMID:23611077
Munjack, D J; Baltazar, P L; DeQuattro, V; Sobin, P; Palmer, R; Zulueta, A; Crocker, B; Usigli, R; Buckwalter, G; Leonard, M
Fifty-one patients who met DSM-III criteria for generalized anxiety disorder, and who were recruited to participate in a drug outcome study, filled out a variety of rating scales and had blood samples drawn for plasma norepinephrine, epinephrine, and free 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) after a 20-min rest period. This group was compared to 15 normal controls who also had their blood drawn after a 20-min rest period. While the two groups were initially found to have significantly different levels of plasma free MHPG through the use of t tests, this finding was not confirmed by subsequent discriminant analysis.
Creswell, Cathy; Waite, Polly; Cooper, Peter J
Anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence are extremely common and are often associated with lifelong psychiatric disturbance. Consistent with DSM-5 and the extant literature, this review concerns the assessment and treatment of specific phobias, separation anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and agoraphobia. Evidence-based psychological treatments (cognitive behaviour therapy; CBT) for these disorders have been developed and investigated, and in recent years promising low-intensity versions of CBT interventions have been proposed that offer a means to increase access to evidence-based treatments. There is some evidence of effectiveness of pharmacological treatments for anxiety disorders in children and young people, however, routine prescription is not recommended due to concerns about potential harm.
Mitrousia, V; Giotakos, O
During the last decade a number of studies have been conducted in order to examine if virtual reality exposure therapy can be an alternative form of therapy for the treatment of mental disorders and particularly for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Imaginal exposure therapy, which is one of the components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, cannot be easily applied to all patients and in cases like those virtual reality can be used as an alternative or a supportive psychotherapeutic technique. Most studies using virtual reality have focused on anxiety disorders, mainly in specific phobias, but some extend to other disorders such as eating disorders, drug dependence, pain control and palliative care and rehabilitation. Main characteristics of virtual reality therapy are: "interaction", "immersion", and "presence". High levels of "immersion" and "presence" are associated with increased response to exposure therapy in virtual environments, as well as better therapeutic outcomes and sustained therapeutic gains. Typical devices that are used in order patient's immersion to be achieved are the Head-Mounted Displays (HMD), which are only for individual use, and the computer automatic virtual environment (CAVE), which is a multiuser. Virtual reality therapy's disadvantages lie in the difficulties that arise due to the demanded specialized technology skills, devices' cost and side effects. Therapists' training is necessary in order for them to be able to manipulate the software and the hardware and to adjust it to each case's needs. Devices' cost is high but as technology continuously improves it constantly decreases. Immersion during virtual reality therapy can induce mild and temporary side effects such as nausea, dizziness or headache. Until today, however, experience shows that virtual reality offers several advantages. Patient's avoidance to be exposed in phobic stimuli is reduced via the use of virtual reality since the patient is exposed to them as many times as he
Silove, D; Manicavasagar, V; O'Connell, D; Blaszczynski, A
Attachment theory has proposed that early separation anxiety is a risk factor for adult anxiety disorder, with the recent focus being particularly on panic disorder. The results of empirical studies examining this link are, however, contradictory, possibly because of inconsistencies across studies in measuring memories of early separation anxiety. In the present study, a psychometrically sound measure, the Separation Anxiety Symptom Inventory (SASI) was used to compare memories of such early symptoms in panic disorder (including those with mild phobic-avoidance), generalised anxiety disorder and control subjects. Anxiety patients as a group returned higher SASI scores (p < 0.001) with a non-significant trend for panic disorder patients to score higher than those with generalised anxiety. These results suggest that early separation anxiety may be a harbinger of adult anxiety and that risk of panic disorder may be higher in the most severely affected youngsters. As a risk factor, early separation anxiety does not however appear to be uniquely related to adult panic disorder.
Allan, Nicholas P; Capron, Daniel W; Raines, Amanda M; Schmidt, Norman B
Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is composed of three lower-order dimensions, cognitive concerns, physical concerns, and social concerns. We examined the relations between AS dimensions using a more adequate assessment of subscales (ASI-3) than has previously been used, and measures of anxiety and mood disorders as well as suicidal ideation in a sample of 256 (M age = 37.10 years, SD = 16.40) treatment-seeking individuals using structural equation modeling. AS cognitive concerns was uniquely associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal ideation. AS physical concerns was uniquely associated with OCD, social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder (PD), and specific phobia. AS social concerns was uniquely associated with SAD, GAD, OCD, and MDD. These results highlight the importance of considering the lower-order AS dimensions when examining the relations between AS and psychopathology.
van Steensel, Francisca J. A.; Bogels, Susan M.; Perrin, Sean
There is considerable evidence that children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are at increased risk of anxiety and anxiety disorders. However, it is less clear which of the specific DSM-IV anxiety disorders occur most in this population. The present study used meta-analytic techniques to help clarify this issue. A systematic…
Werner, Kelly H; Jazaieri, Hooria; Goldin, Philippe R; Ziv, Michal; Heimberg, Richard G; Gross, James J
Self-compassion refers to having an accepting and caring orientation towards oneself. Although self-compassion has been studied primarily in healthy populations, one particularly compelling clinical context in which to examine self-compassion is social anxiety disorder (SAD). SAD is characterized by high levels of negative self-criticism as well as an abiding concern about others' evaluation of one's performance. In the present study, we tested the hypotheses that: (1) people with SAD would demonstrate less self-compassion than healthy controls (HCs), (2) self-compassion would relate to severity of social anxiety and fear of evaluation among people with SAD, and (3) age would be negatively correlated with self-compassion for people with SAD, but not for HC. As expected, people with SAD reported less self-compassion than HCs on the Self-Compassion Scale and its subscales. Within the SAD group, lesser self-compassion was not generally associated with severity of social anxiety, but it was associated with greater fear of both negative and positive evaluation. Age was negatively correlated with self-compassion for people with SAD, whereas age was positively correlated with self-compassion for HC. These findings suggest that self-compassion may be a particularly important target for assessment and treatment in persons with SAD.
van Beek, N.; Perna, G.; Schruers, K.; Muris, P.; Griez, E.
Anxiety sensitivity (AS), which refers to the tendency to interpret anxiety-related bodily sensations as having potentially harmful somatic, psychological or social consequences, has been proposed as a vulnerability factor for the development of panic disorder (PD). The current study examined the anxiety sensitivity levels in children of parents…
Webb, C M; Thuras, P; Peterson, C B; Lampert, J; Miller, D; Crow, S J
Although previous research has supported the importance of anxiety as an etiological and maintenance factor for eating disorders, the specific mechanisms are not well understood. The role of anxiety in the context of eating behavior is especially unclear. The purpose of this study was to identify anxiety-eliciting eating situations and anxiety management strategies patients use to mitigate anxiety experienced in the context of eating as determined by diagnostic groups and symptom patterns. Fifty-three eating disorder outpatients were administered the Eating and Anxiety Questionnaire (EAQ) and the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Scale. Ratings indicated significant anxiety in most eating situations, whereas management strategies were more limited yet regularly employed. Factor analysis of the EAQ revealed a 6-factor solution for anxiety management strategies and a 4-factor solution for anxiety-eliciting situations. These results indicate patients with eating disorders report high levels of anxiety associated with eating behaviors but utilize limited yet consistent anxiety management strategies. Effective intervention strategies for managing eating-related anxiety should be incorporated into treatment and may need to be specified for different diagnostic subgroups.
Fresco, David M.; Mennin, Douglas S.; Heimberg, Richard G.; Ritter, Michael
Despite the success of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) for emotional disorders, a sizable subgroup of patients with complex clinical presentations, such as patients with generalized anxiety disorder, fails to evidence adequate treatment response. Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT) integrates facets of traditional and contemporary CBTs, mindfulness, and emotion-focused interventions within a framework that reflects basic and translational findings in affect science. Specifically, ERT is a mechanism-targeted intervention focusing on patterns of motivational dysfunction while cultivating emotion regulation skills. Open and randomized controlled psychotherapy trials have demonstrated considerable preliminary evidence for the utility of this approach as well as for the underlying proposed mechanisms. This article provides an illustration of ERT through the case of “William.” In particular, this article includes a case-conceptualization of William from an ERT perspective while describing the flow and progression of the ERT treatment approach. PMID:27499606
Fresco, David M; Mennin, Douglas S; Heimberg, Richard G; Ritter, Michael
Despite the success of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) for emotional disorders, a sizable subgroup of patients with complex clinical presentations, such as patients with generalized anxiety disorder, fails to evidence adequate treatment response. Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT) integrates facets of traditional and contemporary CBTs, mindfulness, and emotion-focused interventions within a framework that reflects basic and translational findings in affect science. Specifically, ERT is a mechanism-targeted intervention focusing on patterns of motivational dysfunction while cultivating emotion regulation skills. Open and randomized controlled psychotherapy trials have demonstrated considerable preliminary evidence for the utility of this approach as well as for the underlying proposed mechanisms. This article provides an illustration of ERT through the case of "William." In particular, this article includes a case-conceptualization of William from an ERT perspective while describing the flow and progression of the ERT treatment approach.
Zlomuzica, Armin; Dere, Dorothea; Machulska, Alla; Adolph, Dirk; Dere, Ekrem; Margraf, Jürgen
The aim of this review is to summarize research on the emerging role of episodic memories in the context of anxiety disorders (AD). The available literature on explicit, autobiographical, and episodic memory function in AD including neuroimaging studies is critically discussed. We describe the methodological diversity of episodic memory research in AD and discuss the need for novel tests to measure episodic memory in a clinical setting. We argue that alterations in episodic memory functions might contribute to the etiology of AD. We further explain why future research on the interplay between episodic memory function and emotional disorders as well as its neuroanatomical foundations offers the promise to increase the effectiveness of modern psychological treatments. We conclude that one major task is to develop methods and training programs that might help patients suffering from AD to better understand, interpret, and possibly actively use their episodic memories in a way that would support therapeutic interventions and counteract the occurrence of symptoms. PMID:24795583
van Honk, Jack; Bos, Peter A; Terburg, David; Heany, Sarah; Stein, Dan J
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a highly prevalent and disabling disorder with key behavioral traits of social fearfulness, social avoidance, and submissiveness. Here we argue that hormonal systems play a key role in mediating social anxiety, and so may be important in SAD. Hormonal alterations, often established early in development through the interaction between biological and psychological factors (eg, genetic predisposition x early trauma), predispose to socially fearful, avoidant, and submissive behavior. However, whereas gene variants and histories of trauma persist, hormonal systems can be remodeled over the course of life. Hormones play a key role during the periods of all sensitive developmental windows (ie, prenatal, neonatal, puberty, aging), and are capable of opening up new developmental windows in adulthood. Indeed, the developmental plasticity of our social brain, and thus of social behavior in adulthood, critically depends on steroid hormones such as testosterone and peptide hormones such as oxytocin. These steroid and peptide hormones in interaction with social experiences may have potential for reprogramming the socially anxious brain. Certainly, single administrations of oxytocin and testosterone in humans reduce socially fearful, avoidant, and submissive behavior. Such work may ultimately lead to new approaches to the treatment of SAD.
Blessing, Esther M; Steenkamp, Maria M; Manzanares, Jorge; Marmar, Charles R
Cannabidiol (CBD), a Cannabis sativa constituent, is a pharmacologically broad-spectrum drug that in recent years has drawn increasing interest as a treatment for a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. The purpose of the current review is to determine CBD's potential as a treatment for anxiety-related disorders, by assessing evidence from preclinical, human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies. We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely; however, few studies have investigated chronic CBD dosing. Likewise, evidence from human studies supports an anxiolytic role of CBD, but is currently limited to acute dosing, also with few studies in clinical populations. Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.
Woelk, H; Schläfke, S
Generalized and persistent anxiety, accompanied by nervousness and other symptoms (Generalised Anxiety Disorder, GAD) is frequent in the general population and leads to benzodiazepine usage. Unfortunately, these substances induce sedation and have a high potential for drug abuse, and there is thus a need for alternatives. As the anxiolytic properties of lavender have already been demonstrated in pharmacological studies and small-scale clinical trials, it was postulated that lavender has a positive effect in GAD. A controlled clinical study was then performed to evaluate the efficacy of silexan, a new oral lavender oil capsule preparation, versus a benzodiazepine. In this study, the efficacy of a 6-week-intake of silexan compared to lorazepam was investigated in adults with GAD. The primary target variable was the change in the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A-total score) as an objective measurement of the severity of anxiety between baseline and week 6. The results suggest that silexan effectively ameliorates generalized anxiety comparable to a common benzodiazepine (lorazepam). The mean of the HAM-A-total score decreased clearly and to a similar extent in both groups (by 11.3+/-6.7 points (45%) in the silexan group and by 11.6+/-6.6 points (46%) in the lorazepam group, from 25+/-4 points at baseline in both groups). During the active treatment period, the two HAM-A subscores "somatic anxiety" (HAM-A subscore I) and "psychic anxiety" (HAM-A subscore II) also decreased clearly and to a similar extent in both groups. The changes in other subscores measured during the study, such as the SAS (Self-rating Anxiety Scale), PSWQ-PW (Penn State Worry Questionnaire), SF 36 Health survey Questionnaire and Clinical Global Impressions of severity of disorder (CGI item 1, CGI item 2, CGI item 3), and the results of the sleep diary demonstrated comparable positive effects of the two compounds. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that silexan is as effective as lorazepam
Llera, Sandra J; Newman, Michelle G
The Contrast Avoidance model (Newman & Llera, 2011) proposes that individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are hypersensitive to sharp upward shifts in negative emotion that typically accompany negative events, and use worry to maintain sustained intrapersonal negativity in an attempt to avoid these shifts. Although research shows that worry increases negative emotionality and mutes further emotional reactivity to a stressor when compared to the worry period (e.g., Llera & Newman, 2010), no study has tracked changes in negative emotionality from baseline to worry inductions followed by a range of emotional exposures. Further, no study has yet assessed participants' subjective appraisals of prior worry on helping to cope with such exposures. The present study tested the main tenets of the Contrast Avoidance model by randomly assigning participants with GAD (n=48) and nonanxious controls (n=47) to experience worry, relaxation, and neutral inductions prior to sequential exposure to fearful, sad, and humorous film clips. Both physiological (nonspecific skin conductance responses [NS-SCRs]) and self-reported emotional changes were observed. Results indicated that worry boosted negative emotionality from baseline, which was sustained across negative exposures, whereas low negative emotionality during relaxation and neutral inductions allowed for sharp increases in response to exposures. Furthermore, GAD participants found worry to be more helpful than other conditions in coping with exposures, whereas control participants reported the opposite pattern. Results provide preliminary support for the Contrast Avoidance model. This suggests that treatment should focus on underlying avoidance patterns before attempting to reduce worry behavior.
Johnco, Carly J.; De Nadai, Alessandro S.; Lewin, Adam B.; Ehrenreich-May, Jill; Wood, Jeffrey J.; Storch, Eric A.
This study examined optimal guidelines to assess treatment response and remission for anxiety in youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using the Pediatric Anxiety Rating Scale (PARS). Data was collected for 108 children aged 7-16 years with comorbid anxiety and ASD before and after receiving cognitive behavior therapy. Optimal cut-offs on the…
Maron, Eduard; Nutt, David
At least one third of patients with anxiety disorders do not adequately respond to available pharmacological treatment. The reason that some patients with anxiety disorders respond well, but others not, to the same classes of medication is not yet fully understood. It is suggested that several biological factors may influence treatment mechanisms in anxiety and therefore could be identified as possible biomarkers predicting treatment response. In this review, we look at current evidence exploring different types of treatment predictors, including neuroimaging, genetic factors, and blood-related measures, which could open up novel perspectives in clinical management of patients with anxiety disorders.
Bernaldo-de-Quirós, Mónica; Estupiñá, Francisco J; Labrador, Francisco J; Fernández-Arias, Ignacio; Gómez, Laura; Blanco, Carmen; Alonso, Pablo
The aims of this paper are to analyze differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics among the various anxiety disorders treated in a Psychology Clinic, and the results of treatment in each anxiety disorder. Data from 282 patients of University Psychology Clinic at the Complutense University of Madrid, who had at least one diagnosis of anxiety according to DMS-IV-TR criteria, were analyzed. The most frequent anxiety disorders were nonspecific anxiety disorder (19.1%) and social phobia (18.8%). Significant differences were observed according to sex (in all disorders, the percentage of women was significantly higher than that of men, except for obsessive-compulsive disorder). Unspecific anxiety disorder required a smaller number of assessment and treatment sessions, whereas obsessive-compulsive disorder required a greater number of sessions. There were no significant differences between the percentage of patients who completed treatment and dropout rates in specific phobia, general anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Differences between epidemiological and clinical data are discussed.
Masi, Gabriele; Millepiedi, Stefania; Mucci, Maria; Poli, Paola; Bertini, Nicoletta; Milantoni, Luca
Objective: There are insufficient data on generalized anxiety disorder in children and adolescents. Symptoms and comorbidity of generalized anxiety disorder are described as a function of age, gender, and comorbidity in a consecutive series of referred children and adolescents. Method: One hundred fifty-seven outpatients (97 males and 60 females,…
Rapee, Ronald M.; Coplan, Robert J.
Fearful temperaments have been identified as a major risk factor for anxiety disorders. However, descriptions of fearful temperament and several forms of anxiety disorder show strong similarities. This raises the question whether these terms may simply refer to different aspects of the same underlying construct. The current review examines…
Hewitt, Sarah N.; Egan, Sarah; Rees, Clare
Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is the tendency to react negatively to uncertain situations or events, and it has been found to be an important maintaining factor in a number of different anxiety disorders. It is often included as a part of cognitive behavioural interventions for anxiety disorders but its specific contribution to treatment outcome…
Weems, Carl F.; Stickle, Timothy R.
Empirical research highlights the need for improving the childhood anxiety disorder diagnostic classification system. In particular, inconsistencies in the stability estimates of childhood anxiety disorders and high rates of comorbidity call into the question the utility of the current "DSM" criteria. This paper makes a case for utilizing a…
Waters, Allison M.; Schilpzand, Elizabeth; Bell, Clare; Walker, Lynn S.; Baber, Kari
This study examined the incidence and correlates of functional gastrointestinal symptoms in children with anxiety disorders. Participants were 6-13 year old children diagnosed with one or more anxiety disorders (n = 54) and non-clinical control children (n = 51). Telephone diagnostic interviews were performed with parents to determine the presence…
Vervoort, Leentje; Wolters, Lidewij H.; Hogendoorn, Sanne M.; Prins, Pier J.; de Haan, Else; Boer, Frits; Hartman, Catharina A.
The present study first examined the links between reactive temperament (negative affectivity), regulative temperament (effortful control [EC]) and internalizing problems in adolescents (12-18 years) with anxiety disorders (ANX; N = 39) and without anxiety disorders (nANX; N = 35). Links differed between ANX and nANX participants. Negative…
Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Gould, Thomas J
Anxiety disorders are a group of crippling mental diseases affecting millions of Americans with a 30% lifetime prevalence and costs associated with healthcare of $42.3 billion. While anxiety disorders show high levels of co-morbidity with smoking (45.3% vs. 22.5% in healthy individuals), they are also more common among the smoking population (22% vs. 11.1% in the non-smoking population). Moreover, there is clear evidence that smoking modulates symptom severity in patients with anxiety disorders. In order to better understand this relationship, several animal paradigms are used to model several key symptoms of anxiety disorders; these include fear conditioning and measures of anxiety. Studies clearly demonstrate that nicotine mediates acquisition and extinction of fear as well as anxiety through the modulation of specific subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in brain regions involved in emotion processing such as the hippocampus. However, the direction of nicotine's effects on these behaviors is determined by several factors that include the length of administration, hippocampus-dependency of the fear learning task, and source of anxiety (novelty-driven vs. social anxiety). Overall, the studies reviewed here suggest that nicotine alters behaviors related to fear and anxiety and that nicotine contributes to the development, maintenance, and reoccurrence of anxiety disorders.
Bilgiç, Ayhan; Türkoğlu, Serhat; Ozcan, Ozlem; Tufan, Ali Evren; Yılmaz, Savaş; Yüksel, Tuğba
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often comorbid with anxiety disorders and previous studies observed that anxiety could have an impact on the clinical course of ADHD and comorbid disruptive behavioral disorders (conduct disorders and oppositional-defiant disorders). Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is a different concept from anxiety per se and it is believed to represent the constitutionally based sensitivity of individuals to anxiety and anxiety symptoms. We aimed to assess the associations between anxiety, AS and symptoms of disruptive behavioral disorders (DBD) in a clinical sample of children and adolescents with ADHD. The sample consisted of 274 treatment naive children with ADHD aged 8-17 years. The severity of ADHD symptoms and comorbid DBD were assessed via parent rated Turgay DSM-IV-Based Child and Adolescent Behavioral Disorders Screening and Rating Scale (T-DSM-IV-S), Conners' Parent Rating Scale (CPRS), and Conners' Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS). AS and severity of anxiety symptoms of children were evaluated by self-report inventories. The association between anxiety, AS, and DBD was evaluated using structural equation modeling. Analyses revealed that AS social subscale scores negatively predicted symptoms of conduct disorder (CD) reported in T-DSM-IV-S. On the other hand, CD symptoms positively predicted severity of anxiety. No direct relationships were detected between anxiety, AS and oppositional-defiant behavior scores in any scales. These results may suggest a protective effect of AS social area on the development of conduct disorder in the presence of a diagnosis of ADHD, while the presence of symptoms of CD may be a vulnerability factor for the development of anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD.
Beesdo, Katja; Knappe, Susanne; Pine, Daniel S.
This review summarizes findings on the epidemiology and etiology of anxiety disorders among children and adolescents including separation anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, also highlighting critical aspects of diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. Childhood and adolescence is the core risk phase for the development of anxiety symptoms and syndromes, ranging from transient mild symptoms to full-blown anxiety disorders. This article critically reviews epidemiological evidence covering prevalence, incidence, course, and risk factors. The core challenge in this age span is the derivation of developmentally more sensitive assessment methods. Identification of characteristics that could serve as solid predictors for onset, course, and outcome will require prospective designs that assess a wide range of putative vulnerability and risk factors. This type of information is important for improved early recognition and differential diagnosis as well as prevention and treatment in this age span. PMID:19716988
Norrholm, Seth D.; Ressler, Kerry J.
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the U.S. with approximately 30% of the population experiencing anxiety-related symptoms in their lifetime (Kessler et al., 2005). Notably, a variety of studies have demonstrated that 30−40% of the variance contributing to these disorders is heritable. In the present review, we discuss the latest findings regarding the genetic and environmental influences on the development and symptomatology of anxiety disorders. Specific emphasis is placed on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to its uniqueness as an anxiety disorder; its diagnosis is dependent on a precipitating traumatic event and its development appears to be mediated by both genetic and environmental contributions. The co-morbidity of anxiety disorders and the potential reclassification of anxiety disorders as part of DSM-V are reviewed given the potential impact on the interpretation and design of genetic investigations. Lastly, several keys to future genetic studies are highlighted. Thorough analyses of the gene by environment (GxE) interactions that govern one's vulnerability to anxiety disorder(s), the effectiveness of individual treatment strategies, and the severity of symptoms may lead to more effective prophylactic (e.g., social support) and treatment strategies. PMID:19540311
Montgomery, Stuart A; Lyndon, Gavin; Almas, Mary; Whalen, Ed; Prieto, Rita
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a common mental disorder, has several treatment options including pregabalin. Not all patients respond to treatment; quickly determining which patients will respond is an important treatment goal. Patient-level data were pooled from nine phase II and III randomized, double-blind, short-term, placebo-controlled trials of pregabalin for the treatment of GAD. Efficacy outcomes included the change from baseline in the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) total score and psychic and somatic subscales. Predictive modelling assessed baseline characteristics and early clinical responses to determine those predictive of clinical improvement at endpoint. A total of 2155 patients were included in the analysis (1447 pregabalin, 708 placebo). Pregabalin significantly improved the HAM-A total score compared with the placebo at endpoint, treatment difference (95% confidence interval), -2.61 (-3.21 to -2.01), P<0.0001. Pregabalin significantly improved HAM-A psychic and somatic scores compared with placebo, -1.52 (-1.85 to -1.18), P<0.0001, and -1.10 (-1.41 to -0.80), P<0.0001, respectively. Response to pregabalin in the first 1-2 weeks (≥20 or ≥30% improvement in HAM-A total, psychic or somatic score) was predictive of an endpoint greater than or equal to 50% improvement in the HAM-A total score. Pregabalin is an effective treatment option for patients with GAD. Patients with early response to pregabalin are more likely to respond significantly at endpoint.
Dadashi, Mohsen; Birashk, Behrooz; Taremian, Farhad; Asgarnejad, Ali Asghar; Momtazi, Saeed
Introduction: The basic objective of this study is to investigate the effects of alpha and theta brain waves amplitude increase in occipital area on reducing the severity of symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and to increase the global functioning level in patients with GAD. Methods: This study is a quasi-experimental study with pre-test and post-test with two groups. For this purpose, 28 patients who had been referred to Sohrawardi psychiatric and clinical psychology center in Zanjan were studied based on the interview with the psychiatrist, clinical psychologist and using clinical diagnostic criteria for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders text revision - the DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition diagnosis of GAD, 14 subjects were studied in neurofeedback treatment group and 14 subjects in the waiting list group. Patients in both groups were evaluated at pre-test and post-test with General Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) and Global Assessment Functioning Scale (GAFs). The treatment group received fifteen 30-minute alpha training sessions and fifteen 30-minute theta brain training sessions in occipital area by neurofeedback training (treatment group). This evaluation was performed according to the treatment protocol to increase the alpha and theta waves. And no intervention was done in the waiting list group. But due to ethical issues after the completion of the study all the subjects in the waiting list group were treated. Results: The results showed that increase of alpha and theta brain waves amplitude in occipital area in people with GAD can increase the global functioning level and can reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in a treatment group, but no such change was observed in the waiting list group. Discussion: Increase of alpha and theta brain waves amplitude in occipital area can be useful in the treatment of people with GAD. PMID:27504152
Niles, Andrea N.; Dour, Halina J.; Stanton, Annette L.; Roy-Byrne, Peter P.; Stein, Murray B.; Sullivan, Greer; Sherbourne, Cathy D.; Rose, Raphael D.; Craske, Michelle G.
Objective Anxiety is linked to a number of medical conditions, yet few studies have examined how symptom severity relates to medical comorbidity. Purpose The current study assessed associations between severity of anxiety and depression and presence of medical conditions in adults diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Method Nine-hundred eighty-nine patients diagnosed with panic, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorders reported on the severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms and on diagnoses of 11 medical conditions. Results Severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms was strongly associated with having more medical conditions over and above control variables, and the association was as strong as that between BMI and disease. Odds of having asthma, heart disease, back problems, ulcer, migraine headache and eyesight difficulties also increased as anxiety and depressive symptom severity increased. Anxiety symptoms were independently associated with ulcer, whereas depressive symptoms were independently associated with heart disease, migraine, and eyesight difficulties. Conclusions These findings add to a growing body of research linking anxiety disorders with physical health problems and indicate that anxiety and depressive symptoms deserve greater attention in their association with disease. PMID:25510186
Jefferson, James W.
Social anxiety is defined as a "marked and persistent fear of social or performance situations" and includes such symptoms as sweating, palpitations, shaking, and respiratory distress. Social anxiety is fairly common, occurring in as much as 13% of the population, and can be extremely disabling. It can be either specific (confined to 1 or 2 performance situations) or generalized, and can be diagnosed with a scale-based questionnaire. Social anxiety may coexist with other disorders, such as depression and dysthymia. The differential diagnosis for social anxiety includes panic disorder, agoraphobia, atypical depression, and body dysmorphic disorder. Treatment for social anxiety can be quite effective and consists of psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy (including such medications as beta-blockers, anxiolytics, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants), or a combination. This article details the prevalence, onset, disease impact, and etiology of social anxiety. Specific treatments, including both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, are presented in detail, along with other treatment considerations, such as comorbidity.
O'Neil, Kelly A.; Podell, Jennifer L.; Benjamin, Courtney L.; Kendall, Philip C.
Research indicates that depression and anxiety are highly comorbid in youth. Little is known, however, about the clinical and family characteristics of youth with principal anxiety disorders and comorbid depressive diagnoses. The present study examined the demographic, clinical, and family characteristics of 200 anxiety-disordered children and…
Pfiffner, Linda J.; McBurnett, Keith
This study evaluated parental anxiety and parenting practices associated with comorbid Anxiety Disorders among children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Clinic-referred families (n = 143) were diagnosed using DSM criteria. Parents and children completed measures of parenting practices. Comorbid anxiety in children was significantly…
Carter, Natalie J; McCormack, Paul L
Duloxetine (Cymbalta(R)) is a potent serotonin and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) in the CNS. It is indicated for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as well as other indications. In patients with GAD of at least moderate severity, oral duloxetine 60-120 mg once daily was effective with regard to improvement from baseline in assessments of anxiety and functional impairment, and numerous other clinical endpoints. Longer-term duloxetine 60-120 mg once daily also demonstrated efficacy in preventing or delaying relapse in responders among patients with GAD. In addition, duloxetine was generally well tolerated, with most adverse events being of mild to moderate severity in patients with GAD in short- and longer-term trials. Additional comparative and pharmacoeconomic studies are required to position duloxetine among other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and SNRIs. However, available clinical data, and current treatment guidelines, indicate that duloxetine is an effective first-line treatment option for the management of GAD. Duloxetine is a potent and selective inhibitor of serotonin and noradrenaline transporters, and a weak inhibitor of dopamine transporters. It has a low affinity for neuronal receptors, such as alpha(1)- and alpha(2)-adrenergic, dopamine D(2), histamine H(1), muscarinic, opioid and serotonin receptors, as well as ion channel binding sites and other neurotransmitter transporters, such as choline and GABA transporters. It does not inhibit monoamine oxidase types A or B. The pharmacokinetics of duloxetine in healthy volunteers were dose proportional over the range of 40-120 mg once daily. Steady state was typically reached by day 3 of administration. Duloxetine may be administered without regard to food or time of day. Duloxetine is highly protein bound and is widely distributed throughout tissues. It is rapidly and extensively metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A2 and 2D6, and its
O'Neil, Kelly A; Podell, Jennifer L; Benjamin, Courtney L; Kendall, Philip C
Research indicates that depression and anxiety are highly comorbid in youth. Little is known, however, about the clinical and family characteristics of youth with principal anxiety disorders and comorbid depressive diagnoses. The present study examined the demographic, clinical, and family characteristics of 200 anxiety-disordered children and adolescents (aged 7-17) with and without comorbid depressive disorders (major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder), seeking treatment at a university-based anxiety clinic. All participants met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for a principal anxiety disorder (generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, or social phobia). Of these, twelve percent (n = 24) also met criteria for a comorbid depressive disorder. Results suggest that anxiety-disordered youth with comorbid depressive disorders (AD-DD) were older at intake, had more severe anxious and depressive symptomatology, and were more impaired than anxiety-disordered youth without comorbid depressive disorders (AD-NDD). AD-DD youth also reported significantly more family dysfunction than AD-NDD youth. Future research should examine how this diagnostic and family profile may impact treatment for AD-DD youth.
Kodish, Ian; Rockhill, Carol; Varley, Chris
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health diagnoses in youth, and carry risks for ongoing impairments and subsequent development of other psychiatric comorbidities into adulthood. This article discusses considerations for assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders in youth, with a focus on the evidence base of pharmacologic treatment and important clinical considerations to optimize care. We then briefly describe the impact of anxiety on neuronal elements of fear circuitry to highlight how treatments may ameliorate impairments through enhanced plasticity Overall, pharmacotherapy for anxiety disorders is effective in improving clinical symptoms, particularly in combination with psychotherapy. Response is typically seen within several weeks, yet longitudinal studies are limited. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are thought to be relatively safe and effective for acute treatment of several classes of anxiety disorders in youth, with increasing evidence supporting the role of neuronal plasticity in recovery. PMID:22275849
Cohen, Hagit; Benjamin, Jonathan
Spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) and related measures has been shown to be a reliable noninvasive technique enabling quantitative assessment of cardiovascular autonomic regulatory responses to autonomic regulatory mechanisms; it provides a dynamic probe of sympathetic and parasympathetic tone, reflecting the interactions between the two. Over 20 studies reported abnormalities of HRV in anxiety, and patients with heart disease and anxiety are at increased risk for morbidity and mortality. Psychiatric drugs partly correct abnormalities of HRV and, recently, autonomic drugs (beta-blockers) have been studied in anxiety disorders. The authors call for further studies, especially in patients with co-existing anxiety disorders and heart disease, incorporating assessment of HRV.
Rogers, Katherine D; Young, Alys; Lovell, Karina; Campbell, Malcolm; Scott, Paul R; Kendal, Sarah
The present study is aimed to translate 3 widely used clinical assessment measures into British Sign Language (BSL), to pilot the BSL versions, and to establish their validity and reliability. These were the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale, and the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS). The 3 assessment measures were translated into BSL and piloted with the Deaf signing population in the United Kingdom (n = 113). Participants completed the PHQ-9, GAD-7, WSAS, and Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) online. The reliability and validity of the BSL versions of PHQ-9, GAD-7, and WSAS have been examined and were found to be good. The construct validity for the PHQ-9 BSL version did not find the single-factor solution as found in the hearing population. The BSL versions of PHQ-9, GAD-7, and WSAS have been produced in BSL and can be used with the signing Deaf population in the United Kingdom. This means that now there are accessible mental health assessments available for Deaf people who are BSL users, which could assist in the early identification of mental health difficulties.
Franco, Ximena; Saavedra, Lissette; Silverman, Wendy K
To evaluate the external validity of comorbid patterns of anxiety disorders among youth who presented to an anxiety disorders clinic, comorbid cases were compared to “pure” anxiety disorder cases. Children and adolescents (N = 329; mean age = 10.04 years) and parents were administered structured interviews and four groups were formed, Pure Anxiety, Anxiety + Anxiety, Anxiety + Externalizing, and Anxiety + Depressive, and compared along 4 external validation criteria: sociodemographics, clinical phenomenology, psychosocial, and family factors. All comorbid groups were more severe than the pure anxiety group on clinical phenomenology and psychosocial factors. The Anxiety + Depressive Disorders group was most severe on all criteria except sociodemographics. Results provide evidence for the external validity of comorbid diagnostic presentations among anxiety disorders, as there was differential meaningfulness in the diagnostic presentation of a pure anxiety disorder versus anxiety disorder comorbid with other disorders. Assessment and future research implications are discussed. PMID:17095184
Fang, Angela; Hofmann, Stefan G.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are two separate, but conceptually overlapping nosological entities. In this review, we examine similarities between SAD and BDD in comorbidity, phenomenology, cognitive biases, treatment outcome, and cross-cultural aspects. Our review suggests that SAD and BDD are highly comorbid, show a similar age of onset, share a chronic trajectory, and show similar cognitive biases for interpreting ambiguous social information in a negative manner. Furthermore, research from treatment outcome studies have demonstrated that improvements in SAD were significantly correlated with improvements in BDD. Findings from cross-cultural research suggest that BDD may be conceived as a subtype of SAD in some Eastern cultures. Directions for future research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:20817336
General anxiety disorder (GAD) characterized by persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday things can affect everybody, including cancer patient survivor.In this paper, we present a case report of a breast cancer survivor with GAD treated by cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), who was excessively worried about recurrence of the disease 2 years after the end of any treatment. Cognitive reframing, associated to behavioural exposure and relaxation, were used in order to treat this woman. We describe precisely how the therapy was conducted. Results showed a substantial improvement of the fear of recurrence which 'naturally' extended to other stressful situations not worked during the therapy. Actually, these results are encouraging since it showed that CBT can be efficient in complicated situation involving survivor of a serious disease like cancer who additionally suffers from an anxiety disorder. It also underlines how it is important to be concerned by the distress of cancer survivors.
Baldwin, David S; Nair, Rajesh V
The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor escitalopram is the active enantiomer of citalopram and has proven efficacy in the treatment of major depression, panic disorder and social phobia. Accumulating data indicate that it is also efficacious in the treatment of patients with generalized anxiety disorder. This drug profile summarizes the current evidence-base for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, describes the findings of a series of randomized placebo-controlled and comparator-controlled trials of escitalopram, examines the strengths and weaknesses of current treatment approaches and considers potential new therapies for the treatment of this common, chronic and impairing anxiety disorder. In summary, escitalopram is effective and well tolerated in both the short- and long-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, and has advantages over benzodiazepines and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine.
Chambless, Dianne L
Family-focused therapy for anxiety disorders (FFT-AD), a flexible couple/family treatment provided in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders, is described. The treatment is based upon research showing that anxious patients are more likely to drop out of or fare poorly in CBT when they live with a family member who is hostile toward or emotionally over-involved with the patient, accommodates excessively to the patient's anxiety, or is perceived by the patient to be destructively critical. An adaptation of FFT for bipolar disorder, the treatment is intended for patients with anxiety disorders, regardless of their specific disorder type. FFT-AD is illustrated with two cases.
Möller, H J; Volz, H P; Reimann, I W; Stoll, K D
Opipramol, a drug widely prescribed in Germany, is a tricyclic compound with no reuptake-inhibiting properties. However, it has pronounced D2-, 5-HT2-, and H1-blocking potential and high affinity to sigma receptors (sigma-1 and sigma-2). In early controlled trials, anxiolytic effects were revealed. However, those studies were performed before the concept of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was established. Because of the interesting receptor-binding profile and promising results of the early clinical trials, the authors performed a state-of-the-art placebo-controlled trial using alprazolam as an active control. Three hundred seven outpatients with GAD were included. After a 7-day single-blind placebo washout, patients were randomly assigned to receive either opipramol (final dose, 200 mg/day), alprazolam (2 mg/day), or placebo and were treated for 28 days. The efficacy of both active compounds was higher than the effects with placebo treatment. There were statistically significant differences (p < 0.05, according to the analysis of covariance) in the main outcome criterion (baseline-adjusted final means of an intent-to-treat analysis of the total scores on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety) and in secondary efficacy parameters, with global improvement of 47% for placebo and significantly more for opipramol (63%) and alprazolam (64%). Regarding safety and tolerability, no substantial differences in the number of adverse events observed between treatment groups were obvious. Sedation seemed more pronounced with alprazolam treatment than with opipramol or placebo. In this trial, it was demonstrated for the first time that opipramol, a strong but nonselective sigma site ligand, possesses anxiolytic efficacy superior to placebo in the treatment of GAD.
... Disorder Specific Phobias Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Depression Bipolar Disorder Suicide and Prevention Stress Related Illnesses Myth-Conceptions Find ...
Johnco, Carly; Storch, Eric A.
SUMMARY Anxiety disorders are one of the most common psychiatric comorbidities among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). There has been a recent proliferation of research examining the prevalence, phenomenology, assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders among youth with ASD. While there is currently very limited support for the use of pharmacological agents to treat anxiety among youth with ASD and comorbid anxiety, there has been overwhelming support across numerous modestly sized controlled studies for the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy. This review discusses advances in the treatment literature for anxiety in youth with ASD, and discusses the current evidence base for whether standard treatment needs to be adapted for this population. PMID:26548429
Gadow, Kenneth D.; Nolan, Edith E.
Objective: To determine if comorbid anxiety disorder is associated with differential response to immediate release methylphenidate (MPH-IR) in children with both ADHD and chronic multiple tic disorder (CMTD). Method: Children with (n = 17) and without (n = 37) diagnosed anxiety disorder (ANX) were evaluated in an 8-week, placebo-controlled trial…
Bergado-Acosta, Jorge R; Müller, Iris; Richter-Levin, Gal; Stork, Oliver
Circadian fluctuations of fear and anxiety symptoms are observable in persons with post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder; however, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not sufficiently understood. In the present study, we investigated the putative role of inhibitory neurotransmission in the circadian fluctuation of fear symptoms, using mice with genetic ablation of the γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) synthesizing isoenzyme, glutamic acid decarboxylase GAD65. We observed in these mutant mice an altered expression of conditioned fear with a profound reduction of freezing, and an increase of hyperactivity bouts occurring only when both fear conditioning training and retrieval testing were done at the beginning of their active phase. Mutants further showed an increased arousal response at this time of the day, although, circadian rhythm of home cage activity was unaltered. Hyperactivity and reduced freezing during fear memory retrieval were accompanied by an increased induction of the immediate early gene cFos suggesting hyperactivation of the hippocampus, amygdala, and medial hypothalamus. Our data suggest a role of GAD65-mediated GABA synthesis in the encoding of circadian information to fear memory. GAD65 deficits in a state-dependent manner result in increased neural activation in fear circuits and elicit panic-like flight responses during fear memory retrieval.
van Steensel, Francisca J. A.; Deutschman, Amber A. C. G.; Bögels, Susan M.
The psychometric properties of a questionnaire developed to assess symptoms of anxiety disorders (SCARED-71) were compared between two groups of children: children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder and comorbid anxiety disorders (ASD-group; "n" = 115), and children with anxiety disorders (AD-group; "n" = 122).…
Hudson, Jennifer L.; Keers, Robert; Roberts, Susanna; Coleman, Jonathan R.I.; Breen, Gerome; Arendt, Kristian; Bögels, Susan; Cooper, Peter; Creswell, Cathy; Hartman, Catharina; Heiervang, Einar R.; Hötzel, Katrin; In-Albon, Tina; Lavallee, Kristen; Lyneham, Heidi J.; Marin, Carla E.; McKinnon, Anna; Meiser-Stedman, Richard; Morris, Talia; Nauta, Maaike; Rapee, Ronald M.; Schneider, Silvia; Schneider, Sophie C.; Silverman, Wendy K.; Thastum, Mikael; Thirlwall, Kerstin; Waite, Polly; Wergeland, Gro Janne; Lester, Kathryn J.; Eley, Thalia C.
Objective The Genes for Treatment study is an international, multisite collaboration exploring the role of genetic, demographic, and clinical predictors in response to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in pediatric anxiety disorders. The current article, the first from the study, examined demographic and clinical predictors of response to CBT. We hypothesized that the child’s gender, type of anxiety disorder, initial severity and comorbidity, and parents’ psychopathology would significantly predict outcome. Method A sample of 1,519 children 5 to 18 years of age with a primary anxiety diagnosis received CBT across 11 sites. Outcome was defined as response (change in diagnostic severity) and remission (absence of the primary diagnosis) at each time point (posttreatment, 3-, 6-, and/or 12-month follow-up) and analyzed using linear and logistic mixed models. Separate analyses were conducted using data from posttreatment and follow-up assessments to explore the relative importance of predictors at these time points. Results Individuals with social anxiety disorder (SoAD) had significantly poorer outcomes (poorer response and lower rates of remission) than those with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Although individuals with specific phobia (SP) also had poorer outcomes than those with GAD at posttreatment, these differences were not maintained at follow-up. Both comorbid mood and externalizing disorders significantly predicted poorer outcomes at posttreatment and follow-up, whereas self-reported parental psychopathology had little effect on posttreatment outcomes but significantly predicted response (although not remission) at follow-up. Conclusion SoAD, nonanxiety comorbidity, and parental psychopathology were associated with poorer outcomes after CBT. The results highlight the need for enhanced treatments for children at risk for poorer outcomes. PMID:26004660
Ginsburg, Golda S.; Riddle, Mark A.; Davies, Mark
Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of somatic symptoms (SSs) in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders; the relationship between SSs and anxiety severity, impairment, and child global functioning; and the impact of fluvoxamine (FLV) versus pill placebo (PBO) on reducing SSs. Method: As part of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,…
van Steensel, Francisca J. A.; Bogels, Susan M.; Wood, Jeffrey J.
The aim of this study was to examine ASD traits in children with clinical anxiety in early development, as well as current manifestations. Parents of 42 children with an anxiety disorder (but no known diagnosis of ASD) and 42 typically developing children were interviewed using the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R). They also completed…
Rapee, Ronald M.
Family variables are thought to play a key role in a wide variety of psychopathology according to many theories. Yet, specific models of the development of anxiety disorders place little emphasis on general family factors despite clear evidence that anxiety runs in families. The current review examines evidence for the involvement of a number of…
De Coteau, Tami; Anderson, Jessiline; Hope, Debra
Although there is a small but growing body of literature examining the psychopathology of anxiety among Native Americans, no data are available regarding the efficacy of empirically supported treatments for anxiety disorders among Native Americans. Moreover, exceptional challenges arise in adapting mainstream approaches to Native Americans, such…
Brown, Elissa J.; And Others
The psychometric adequacy of the Social Interaction Scale and the Social Phobia Scale (both by R. P. Mattick and J. C. Clark, 1989) was studied with 165 patients with anxiety disorders and 21 people without anxiety. Results support the usefulness of the scales for screening and treatment design and evaluation. (SLD)
Budinger, Meghan Crosby; Drazdowski, Tess K.; Ginsburg, Golda S.
While parenting behaviors among anxious parents have been implicated in the familial transmission of anxiety, little is known about whether these parenting behaviors are unique to specific parental anxiety disorders. The current study examined differences in the use of five specific parenting behaviors (i.e., warmth/positive affect, criticism,…
Diamond, Allison E.; Fisher, Aaron J.
Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) has been well documented in individuals diagnosed with a range of psychological disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Moreover, these disorders both confer an increased risk of cardiovascular disease—which may relate to increased sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic tone. Extant research has indicated a reduction in autonomic flexibility in GAD, and while reduced flexibility has also been seen in MDD, the specific physiological alterations have been more difficult to categorize due to methodological limitations, including high co-morbidity rates with anxiety disorders. Prior studies have largely assessed autonomic functioning in stress paradigms or at the trait level, yet to date, no research has investigated the ANS during a diagnostic interview, a ubiquitous task employed in both research and clinical settings. In this study we sought to identify physiological differences in both branches of the ANS across diagnostic categories in the context of a diagnostic interview. Participants (n = 82) were administered a structured clinical interview, during which heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and pre-ejection period (PEP) were recorded in participants carrying a diagnosis of GAD (n = 34), MDD (n = 22), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD; n = 15) and healthy controls (n = 27). Person-specific linear regression models were employed to assess the level and slope for HR, RSA and PEP throughout the course of the interview. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) model was conducted to baseline differences in HR, RSA and PEP between diagnostic groups. Multiple regression models were then conducted to differences in slope of HR, RSA and PEP throughout the course of the interview amongst diagnostic groups, including both suppression and worry as moderators. Results indicated significant increases in RSA throughout the interview in MDD (p = 0
Wehry, Anna M; Beesdo-Baum, Katja; Hennelly, Meghann M; Connolly, Sucheta D; Strawn, Jeffrey R
Recent advances in the developmental epidemiology, neurobiology, and treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders have increased our understanding of these conditions and herald improved outcomes for affected children and adolescents. This article reviews the current epidemiology, longitudinal trajectory, and neurobiology of anxiety disorders in youth. Additionally, we summarize the current evidence for both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatments of fear-based anxiety disorders (e.g., generalized, social, and separation anxiety disorders) in children and adolescents. Current data suggest that these disorders begin in childhood and adolescence, exhibit homotypic continuity, and increase the risk of secondary anxiety and mood disorders. Psychopharmacologic trials involving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs) are effective in pediatric patients with anxiety disorders and have generally demonstrated moderate effect sizes. Additionally, current data support cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of these conditions in youth and suggest that the combination of psychotherapy + an SSRI may be associated with greater improvement than would be expected with either treatment as monotherapy.
Montgomery, Stuart A; Mahé, Vincent; Haudiquet, Vincent; Hackett, David
A survival analysis of data from two placebo-controlled, randomized, long-term (6-month) studies was used to examine the effectiveness of venlafaxine, extended release (XR) formulation, in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Patients in a placebo-controlled, flexible-dose study received 75 to 225 mg/day venlafaxine XR, while patients in a placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study received once-daily venlafaxine XR doses of 37.5 mg, 75 mg, or 150 mg. The survival analysis was based on the clinician's decision to discontinue treatment in a placebo-controlled study and incorporated data from all patients who were randomized. In each study, placebo-treated patients discontinued treatment due to lack of efficacy more frequently and earlier than those receiving venlafaxine XR (p < 0.001, log-rank test). A dose-response relationship was apparent, with the lowest rate of withdrawal seen at the highest venlafaxine XR dose. Survival curves for discontinuations due to adverse events did not differ significantly in either study. These results were consistent with the conventional intent-to-treat efficacy assessments of changes in anxiety severity, highlighting the superiority of venlafaxine XR over placebo in the long-term treatment of GAD. Overall, these results demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of venlafaxine XR in the short-term and long-term treatment of GAD.
Zimmermann, Peter; Iwanski, Alexandra; Çelik, Fatma
From an attachment perspective, insecure attachment patterns in both infancy and adolescence are risk factors for the development of anxiety disorders in adolescence. Dysfunctional emotion regulation and biased social information processing are possible mediating processes. This study examines differences in emotion regulation, emotional vulnerability, and behaviour inhibition in adolescents with clinical diagnosis of anxiety disorder and healthy controls. Adolescents with anxiety disorder reported more maladaptive emotion regulation depending on the specific emotion and a higher incidence of reporting hurt feelings in social interactions. In contrast, behaviour inhibition did not explain additional variance. The results suggest that adolescents with anxiety disorders show a bias in the interpretation of social interactions as frequently emotionally hurting, and the use of dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies that minimize the possibility for effective social emotion regulation by close others or therapists. The results are interpreted within attachment framework.
Brownlie, E B; Bao, Lin; Beitchman, Joseph
Language disorder is associated with anxiety and with social problems in childhood and adolescence. However, the relation between language disorder and adult social anxiety is not well known. This study examines social anxiety in early adulthood in a 26-year prospective longitudinal study following individuals identified with a communication disorder at age 5 and a control group. Social anxiety diagnoses and subthreshold symptoms were examined at ages 19, 25, and 31 using a structured diagnostic interview; social anxiety symptoms related to social interaction and social performance were also assessed dimensionally at age 31. Multiple imputation was used to address attrition. Compared to controls, participants with childhood language disorder had higher rates of subthreshold social phobia at ages 19 and 25 and endorsed higher levels of social interaction anxiety symptoms at age 31, with particular difficulty talking to others and asserting their perspectives. Childhood language disorder is a specific risk factor for a circumscribed set of social anxiety symptoms in adulthood, which are likely associated with communication challenges.
White, Susan W.; Oswald, Donald; Ollendick, Thomas; Scahill, Lawrence
Anxiety and poor stress management are common concerns in clinical samples of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Anxiety may worsen during adolescence, as young people face an increasingly complex social milieu and often become more aware of their differences and interpersonal difficulties. This review summarizes the state of research on the prevalence, phenomenology, and treatment of anxiety in youth with autism and related conditions such as Asperger’s disorder. Using search words autism, asperger(s), or pervasive developmental disorder and anxiety or anxious to find reports published between 1990 and 2008, this review identified 40 papers. The results of the review suggest that anxiety, whether measured categorically or dimensionally, is indeed common in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and may be a source of additional morbidity. The assessment of anxiety disorders in ASD should be conducted using multiple informants and modalities, as children with ASD often do not display age-typical symptoms of anxiety. To date, relatively few controlled intervention studies using well-characterized samples have been conducted despite preliminary evidence for efficacy of select pharmacological and psychosocial approaches. Recommendations for future applied research are presented and clinical implications are explored. PMID:19223098
Lader, Malcolm; Kyriacou, Andri
The large class of CNS-depressant medications-the benzodiazepines-have been extensively used for over 50 years, anxiety disorders being one of the main indications. A substantial proportion (perhaps up to 20-30 %) of long-term users becomes physically dependent on them. Problems with their use became manifest, and dependence, withdrawal difficulties and abuse were documented by the 1980s. Many such users experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms on attempted cessation and may develop clinically troublesome syndromes even during slow tapering. Few studies have been conducted to establish the optimal withdrawal schedules. The usual management comprises slow withdrawal over weeks or months together with psychotherapy of various modalities. Pharmacological aids include antidepressants such as the SSRIs especially if depressive symptoms supervene. Other pharmacological agents such as the benzodiazepine antagonist, flumazenil, and the hormonal agent, melatonin, remain largely experimental. The purpose of this review is to analyse the evidence for the efficacy of the usual withdrawal regimes and the newer agents. It is concluded that little evidence exists outside the usual principles of drug withdrawal but there are some promising leads.
Lewis-Fernández, Roberto; Hinton, Devon E.; Laria, Amaro J.; Patterson, Elissa H.; Hofmann, Stefan G.; Craske, Michelle G.; Stein, Dan J.; Asnaani, Anu; Liao, Betty
Background The anxiety disorders specified in the fourth edition, text revision, of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR) are identified universally in human societies, and also show substantial cultural particularities in prevalence and symptomatology. Possible explanations for the observed epidemiological variability include lack of measurement equivalence, true differences in prevalence, and limited validity or precision of diagnostic criteria. One central question is whether, through inadvertent “over-specification” of disorders, the post-DSM-III nosology has missed related but somewhat different presentations of the same disorder because they do not exactly fit specified criteria sets. This review canvases the mental health literature for evidence of cross-cultural limitations in DSM-IV-TR anxiety disorder criteria. Methods Searches were conducted of the mental health literature, particularly since 1994, regarding cultural or race/ethnicity-related factors that might limit the universal applicability of the diagnostic criteria for six anxiety disorders. Results Possible mismatches between the DSM criteria and the local phenomenology of the disorder in specific cultural contexts were found for three anxiety disorders in particular. These involve the unexpectedness and 10-minute crescendo criteria in Panic Disorder; the definition of social anxiety and social reference group in Social Anxiety Disorder; and the priority given to psychological symptoms of worry in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Limited evidence was found throughout, particularly in terms of neurobiological markers, genetic risk factors, treatment response, and other DSM-V validators that could help clarify the cross-cultural applicability of criteria. Conclusions On the basis of the available data, options and preliminary recommendations for DSM-V are put forth that should be further evaluated and tested. PMID:20037918
Steketee, G; Perry, JC; Goisman, RM; Warshaw, MG; Massion, AO; Peterson, LG; Langford, L; Weinshenker, N; Farreras , IG; Keller , MB
The authors report on development, reliability, and findings of the Psychosocial Treatments Interview (PTI) to assess treatments reported by patients in a naturalistic study of the longitudinal course of anxiety disorders. The PTI ascertains frequency of different types of psychosocial treatments, based on patients' reports. The PTI showed good internal consistency and very good interrater reliability. At first 6-month follow-up, the most common modalities were supportive, medication discussion, and dynamic intervention. Combinations were common. Delivery of treatments differed by site. Overall, the PTI fills a methodological need for the assessment of the treatments reported by patients in naturalistic follow-up studies. PMID:9185065
Steketee, G; Perry, J C; Goisman, R M; Warshaw, M G; Massion, A O; Peterson, L G; Langford, L; Weinshenker, N; Farreras, I G; Keller, M B
The authors report on development, reliability, and findings of the Psychosocial Treatments Interview (PTI) to assess treatments reported by patients in a naturalistic study of the longitudinal course of anxiety disorders. The PTI ascertains frequency of different types of psychosocial treatments, based on patients' reports. The PTI showed good internal consistency and very good interrater reliability. At first 6-month follow-up, the most common modalities were supportive, medication discussion, and dynamic intervention. Combinations were common. Delivery of treatments differed by site. Overall, the PTI fills a methodological need for the assessment of the treatments reported by patients in naturalistic follow-up studies.
Zvolensky, Michael J; Farris, Samantha G; Leventhal, Adam M; Schmidt, Norman B
Research has documented consistent and robust relations between emotional disorders (i.e., depressive and anxiety disorders) and smoking. Yet, it is presently unclear whether anxiety sensitivity--the fear of aversive internal anxiety states--accounts for the relations between emotional disorders and various smoking processes, including nicotine dependence, perceived barriers to smoking cessation, and severity of problematic symptoms during past cessation attempts. Participants (N = 465) were treatment-seeking daily tobacco smokers recruited as part of a larger tobacco-cessation study. Baseline (pretreatment) data were utilized. Emotional disorders were assessed via clinical diagnostic interview; self-report measures were used to assess anxiety sensitivity and 3 criterion variables: nicotine dependence, barriers to smoking cessation, and severity of problematic symptoms while quitting in past attempts. Emotional disorders were predictive of higher levels of nicotine dependence, greater perceived barriers to cessation, and greater severity of problematic symptoms while attempting to quit in the past; each of these relations were accounted for by the indirect effect of anxiety sensitivity. The present findings suggest that anxiety sensitivity may be an important transdiagnostic construct in explicating the nature of the relations between emotional disorders and various smoking processes.
Li, Ranran; Wu, Renrong; Chen, Jun; Kemp, David E.; Ren, Ming; Conroy, Carla; Chan, Philip; Serrano, Mary Beth; Ganocy, Stephen J.; Calabrese, Joseph R.; Gao, Keming
Objectives To pilot efficacy and safety data of quetiapine-XR monotherapy or adjunctive therapy to antidepressant(s) in the acute treatment of MDD with current generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Methods The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview was used to ascertain the diagnosis of DSM-IV Axis I disorders. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to quetiapine-XR or placebo for up to 8 weeks. Changes from baseline to endpoint in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-17 items (HAMD-17), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S), Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomatology-16 items Self-Report (QIDS-16-SR) total scores, and other outcome measures were analyzed with the last observation carried forward strategy and/or mixed-effects modeling for repeated measures. Results Of the 34 patients screened, 23 patients were randomized to receive quetiapine-XR (n = 11) or placebo (n = 12), with 5 and 4 completing the study, respectively. The mean dose of quetiapine-XR was 154 ± 91 mg/d. The change from baseline to endpoint in the total scores of HAMD-17, HAM-A, QIDS-16-SR, and CGI-S were significant in the quetiapine-XR group, but only the change in HAM-A total score was significant in the placebo group. The differences in these changes between the two groups were only significant in CGI-S scores, with the rest of numerical larger in the quetiapine-XR group. The most common side effects from quetiapine-XR were dry mouth, somnolence/sedation, and fatigue. Conclusions In this pilot study, quetiapine-XR was numerically superior to placebo in reducing depressive and anxiety symptoms in patients with MDD and current GAD. Large sample studies are warranted to support or refute these preliminary findings. PMID:27738370
Katzman, Martin A; Brawman-Mintzer, Olga; Reyes, Efren B; Olausson, Bengt; Liu, Sherry; Eriksson, Hans
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of extended release quetiapine fumarate (quetiapine XR) as maintenance monotherapy for patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Time-to-event (anxiety symptom recurrence; maximum 52 weeks) multicenter, randomized-withdrawal, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of quetiapine XR (50-300 mg/day) following open-label run-in (4-8 weeks) and open-label stabilization (≥ 12 weeks). Primary variable: time from randomization to anxiety event. Secondary variables included: Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) total, HAM-A psychic/somatic anxiety factors, Clinical Global Impression-Severity of Illness (CGI-S), and Quality of Life, Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q) scores; adverse events (AE) reporting. Four hundred and thirty-two patients, stabilized on quetiapine XR, were randomized to continue quetiapine XR (N=216) or switch to placebo (N=216). Risk of anxiety symptom recurrence was significantly reduced by 81% for quetiapine XR versus placebo: hazard ratio=0.19 (95% confidence interval 0.12-0.31; P<0.001). Fewer patients receiving quetiapine XR (N=22, 10.2%) than placebo (N=84, 38.9%) experienced anxiety symptom recurrence. Significant differences were observed between quetiapine XR and placebo in: HAM-A total, psychic/somatic, CGI-S (all P<0.001) and Q-LES-Q (P<0.05) scores. AEs (>10%) during open-label treatment were dry mouth, sedation, somnolence, dizziness, fatigue, and constipation. During randomized treatment, the most common AEs for quetiapine XR were headache and nasopharyngitis. Quetiapine XR monotherapy reduced the risk of anxiety symptom recurrence in patients with GAD stabilized on quetiapine XR, with tolerability results consistent with the known profile of quetiapine.
Yousefi Chaijan, Parsa; Sharafkhah, Mojtaba; Abdolrazaghnejad, Ali; Amiri, Mohammad; Ebrahimi Monfared, Mohsen; Fatemi Tabaei, Saghi
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Anxiety is the most common childhood psychiatric disorder. Based on studies, these disorders are more prevalent in some chronic disease. This study aimed at investigating the prevalence of ADHD and anxiety in children with malignancy and anxiety in their parents and comparing the results with those of the control group. One hundred, 3-15-year-old children with malignancy and 100 healthy children without malignancy or any chronic disease were included in this case-control study as case and control groups, respectively. Subjects were selected from children who were referred to the pediatric ward of Amir Kabir Hospital of Arak, Iran, in the form of simple probability and based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. ADHD and Anxiety were diagnosed by Conner's Parent Rating Scale-48 (CPRS-48) and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and were confirmed by psychologist consult. Data were analyzed by Student t-test in SPSS18. ADHD was observed in 23 cases (23%) with malignancy and 5 controls (5%) (P=0.001). In the case group, 57 children (57%) and 45 of their parents (45%) were suffering from anxiety while in the control group the figure was observed in 12 children (12%) and 11 of their parents (11%) (P=0.001). ADHD and anxiety are more common in children with malignancy as compared with children without malignancy and anxiety is also more common in their parents. Therefore, implementing interventions and psychiatric counseling are recommended for these children and their parents.
Arman, Soroor; Soheilimehr, Ali; Maracy, Mohammad Reza
Background: This study was designed to investigating the effect of combining D-cycloserine (DCS) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on adolescent with at least one type of anxiety disorders. Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted as a double-blind randomized controlled trial on 36 adolescent with anxiety disorders. Patients were assessed in two groups. In addition to 4 sessions of weekly CBT in both groups; case group, received a 50-mg DCS capsules, control group, received Placebo daily for a month. Patients received DCS capsules or placebo 1 h before sessions of CBT. Age, sex, kind of anxiety disorders “screen for child anxiety related disorders (SCARED)” and “cognitive abilities test (CATS)” scores were evaluated and compared between groups. Results: The mean age of the studied patients (29 females (80.6%) and 7 males (19.4%)) was 14.1 ± 1.8 years. The most frequent anxiety disorder among the study population was generalized social disorder (GAD) (77.7%). Age, sex and the frequency of anxiety disorders were not statistically significant between the study groups (P > 0.05). The mean score of “SCARED” and “CATS” at before starting the treatment, after treatment and three month after the treatment were not statistically significant between groups (P > 0.05). Also, decrease in values of “SCARED” and “CATS” during the evaluation time periods was not statistically significant between groups (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Findings of this study showed that there has been no difference in symptoms improvement in adolescent with anxiety disorder who received treatment protocol including 4 sessions of CBT, weekly, together with 50 mgs of DCS compared to the patients of the control group. PMID:28299303
Renno, Patricia; Wood, Jeffrey J.
Despite reports of high anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), there is controversy regarding differential diagnosis of ASD symptoms and anxiety symptoms. This study examined 88 children, aged 7-11 years, with ASD referred for concerns about anxiety. A multitrait-(social anxiety, separation anxiety, overall anxiety severity, and…
Faravelli, Carlo; Lo Sauro, Carolina; Godini, Lucia; Lelli, Lorenzo; Benni, Laura; Pietrini, Francesco; Lazzeretti, Lisa; Talamba, Gabriela Alina; Fioravanti, Giulia; Ricca, Valdo
Anxiety disorders are among the most common of all mental disorders and their pathogenesis is a major topic in psychiatry, both for prevention and treatment. Early stressful life events and alterations of hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function seem to have a significant role in the onset of anxiety. Existing data appear to support the mediating effect of the HPA axis between childhood traumata and posttraumatic stress disorder. Findings on the HPA axis activity at baseline and after stimuli in panic disordered patients are inconclusive, even if stressful life events may have a triggering function in the development of this disorder. Data on the relationship between stress, HPA axis functioning and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are scarce and discordant, but an increased activity of the HPA axis is reported in OCD patients. Moreover, normal basal cortisol levels and hyper-responsiveness of the adrenal cortex during a psychosocial stressor are observed in social phobics. Finally, abnormal HPA axis activity has also been observed in generalized anxiety disordered patients. While several hypothesis have attempted to explain these findings over time, currently the most widely accepted theory is that early stressful life events may provoke alterations of the stress response and thus of the HPA axis, that can endure during adulthood, predisposing individuals to develop psychopathology. All theories are reviewed and the authors conclude that childhood life events and HPA abnormalities may be specifically and transnosographically related to all anxiety disorders, as well as, more broadly, to all psychiatric disorders.
Drake, Kelly L.; Ginsburg, Golda S.
It is now widely accepted that anxiety disorders run in families, and current etiological models have proposed both genetic and environmental pathways to anxiety development. In this paper, the familial role in the development, treatment, and prevention of anxiety disorders in children is reviewed. We focus on three anxiety disorders in youth,…
Rodgers, J.; Glod, M.; Connolly, B.; McConachie, H.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are vulnerable to anxiety. Repetitive behaviours are a core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and have been associated with anxiety. This study examined repetitive behaviours and anxiety in two groups of children with autism spectrum disorder, those with high anxiety and those with lower levels of…
Geller, Daniel; Donnelly, Craig; Lopez, Frank; Rubin, Richard; Newcorn, Jeffrey; Sutton, Virginia; Bakken, Rosalie; Paczkowski, Martin; Kelsey, Douglas; Sumner, Calvin
Objective: Research suggests 25% to 35% of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have comorbid anxiety disorders. This double-blind study compared atomoxetine with placebo for treating pediatric ADHD with comorbid anxiety, as measured by the ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Parent Version: Investigator Administered and Scored…
Fields, Jordan A; Nichols, Linda O; Martindale-Adams, Jennifer; Zuber, Jeffrey; Graney, Marshall
The goal of this study was to examine the relationships between heightened anxiety, social support, and physical health in a sample of spouses of returning Iraq and Afghanistan service members. 86 spouses were recruited nationally as part of a pilot trial of a military spouse telephone support group. Participants completed measures of physical and mental health via telephone including a screening tool for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Scores for social support and health outcomes were compared across two groups (positive vs. negative screens for GAD) using one-way analysis of variance analysis procedures. Path analytic techniques were used to evaluate the relative effects of anxiety and perceived social support on overall health and physical health comorbidities. A total of 38 participants screened positive for GAD. Participants with probable GAD reported having less social support than those screening negative for GAD. GAD participants also reported poorer overall health and more physical health comorbidities than their GAD-negative counterparts. Path analysis indicated that heightened anxiety is associated with worse overall health and social support does not buffer this interaction. The results suggest that anxiety-related health is a critical factor to be addressed in spouses of service members.
Müller, Iris; Obata, Kunihiko; Richter-Levin, Gal; Stork, Oliver
GABAergic mechanisms are critically involved in the control of fear and anxiety, but their role in the development of stress-induced psychopathologies, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mood disorders is not sufficiently understood. We studied these functions in two established mouse models of risk factors for stress-induced psychopathologies employing variable juvenile stress and/or social isolation. A battery of emotional tests in adulthood revealed the induction of contextually generalized fear, anxiety, hyperarousal and depression-like symptoms in these paradigms. These reflect the multitude and complexity of stress effects in human PTSD patients. With factor analysis we were able to identify parameters that reflect these different behavioral domains in stressed animals and thus provide a basis for an integrated scoring of affectedness more closely resembling the clinical situation than isolated parameters. To test the applicability of these models to genetic approaches we further tested the role of GABA using heterozygous mice with targeted mutation of the GABA synthesizing enzyme GAD65 [GAD65(+/-) mice], which show a delayed postnatal increase in tissue GABA content in limbic and cortical brain areas. Unexpectedly, GAD65(+/-) mice did not show changes in exploratory activity regardless of the stressor type and were after the variable juvenile stress procedure protected from the development of contextual generalization in an auditory fear conditioning experiment. Our data demonstrate the complex nature of behavioral alterations in rodent models of stress-related psychopathologies and suggest that GAD65 haplodeficiency, likely through its effect on the postnatal maturation of GABAergic transmission, conveys resilience to some of these stress-induced effects.
Dudaee-Faass, Sigal; Marnane, Claire; Wagner, Renate
Two case reports are described in which patients presented for the treatment of multiple comorbid anxiety disorders, all of which appeared to derive from prolonged separation anxiety disorder. In particular, these adults had effectively altered their lifestyles to avoid separation, thereby displaying only ambiguous separation anxiety symptoms that…
Conner, Caitlin M.; Maddox, Brenna B.; White, Susan W.
Comorbid anxiety is common among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and parents of children with ASD are more likely to have anxiety disorders. This study investigated the relationship between parents' state and trait anxiety and parent-reported internalizing and externalizing symptoms among adolescents (n = 30) with ASD, as well…
Gommoll, Carl; Durgam, Suresh; Mathews, Maju; Forero, Giovanna; Nunez, Rene; Tang, Xiongwen; Thase, Michael E
Background Vilazodone, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, is approved for treating major depressive disorder in adults. This study (NCT01629966 ClinicalTrials.gov) evaluated the efficacy and safety of vilazodone in adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Methods A multicenter, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study in patients with GAD randomized (1:1:1) to placebo (n = 223), or vilazodone 20 mg/day (n = 230) or 40 mg/day (n = 227). Primary and secondary efficacy parameters were total score change from baseline to week 8 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAMA) and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), respectively, analyzed using a predefined mixed-effect model for repeated measures (MMRM). Safety outcomes were presented by descriptive statistics. Results The least squares mean difference (95% confidence interval) in HAMA total score change from baseline (MMRM) was statistically significant for vilazodone 40 mg/day versus placebo (–1.80 [–3.26, –0.34]; P = .0312 [adjusted for multiple comparisons]), but not for vilazodone 20 mg/day versus placebo. Mean change from baseline in SDS total score was not significantly different for either dose of vilazodone versus placebo when adjusted for multiplicity; significant improvement versus placebo was noted for vilazodone 40 mg/day without adjustment for multiplicity (P = .0349). The incidence of adverse events was similar for vilazodone 20 and 40 mg/day (∼71%) and slightly lower for placebo (62%). Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, vomiting, and fatigue were reported in ≥5% of patients in either vilazodone group and at least twice the rate of placebo. Conclusions Vilazodone was effective in treating anxiety symptoms of GAD. No new safety concerns were identified. PMID:25891440
Goodwin, Guy M.
The anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, and panic disorder. In addition to the specific symptoms of these disorders, there may be a common experience of anxiety and even dysphoria across the conditions, and of course recourse to the same drug or choice of drugs for treatment. This overlap probably occurs because of universal dimensions of distress or negative affectivity, a shared genetic predisposition, and a common neurobiology Evidence of shared genes is still based mainly on twin studies, but the shared neurobiology can be investigated directly by the investigation of emotional or cognitive bias either behaviorally or using functional brain imaging. This intermediate phenotype can then provide a substrate for understanding and developing medicines and psychological treatments. PMID:26487806
Goodwin, Guy M
The anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, and panic disorder. In addition to the specific symptoms of these disorders, there may be a common experience of anxiety and even dysphoria across the conditions, and of course recourse to the same drug or choice of drugs for treatment. This overlap probably occurs because of universal dimensions of distress or negative affectivity, a shared genetic predisposition, and a common neurobiology Evidence of shared genes is still based mainly on twin studies, but the shared neurobiology can be investigated directly by the investigation of emotional or cognitive bias either behaviorally or using functional brain imaging. This intermediate phenotype can then provide a substrate for understanding and developing medicines and psychological treatments.
Cohen, Yoav; Lachenmeyer, Juliana Rasic; Springer, Craig
Recently, there has been increasing evidence for information-processing deficits in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While impairments in selective attention have been identified to be central to the symptomatology of OCD, the role that situational anxiety plays in attentional processes has not been fully explored. Previous research findings were limited to tasks containing anxiety-relevant materials, only permitting for the evaluation of the impact of anxiety on simultaneous cognitive processing. Furthermore, it has not yet been determined whether the impact of anxiety is limited to selective attention or is indicative of a more general cognitive impairment. This study was designed to examine the role that situational anxiety plays in selective attention impairments. OCD participants and controls were presented with an anxiety producing statement and a neutral statement, followed by the Stroop Task. Results indicated that situational anxiety plays a significant role in the performance of tasks that require selective attention in OCD. A significant deterioration was detected in performance on selective attention tasks for the OCD participants after confronting anxiety-provoking scenarios, as compared to neutral scenarios. Anxiety did not impair performance on simple reading tasks. Possible explanations are discussed.
Sipos, Kornel; Bodo, Michael; Szalay, Piroska; Szucs, Attila
In order to test the hypothesis that anxiety is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, specifically stroke, we simultaneously measured anxiety and cerebral vascular alternation, using a computer-based system, "Cerberus." Sixty nine psychiatric patients (including an alcoholic subgroup) were selected as subjects for measurements conducted in Kecskemet, Hungary. The five-item short form of anxiety test (STAI) was administered twice during the same session. Between each test, brain pulse waves were recorded by rheoencephalogram (REG). A REG peak time above 180 milliseconds was considered a cerebrovascular alteration (modified after Jenkner). Data were sorted into two groups: low anxiety (N=10) and high anxiety (N=10). Significant differences were found between cardiovascular risk factors (p< 0.001), REG peak time (p<0.043), and heart rate (p< 0.045). Six subjects showed cerebrovascular alteration in the high anxiety group, and two in the low anxiety group. For the two anxiety groups, there were no significant differences in body mass index, cardiovascular sympathetic-parasympathetic balance, age and symptoms of transient ischemic attack. The correlation of REG and age was significantly different only for the alcoholic subgroup (Szalay et al, 2007). These data support the hypothesis that a correlation exists between cerebrovascular disorder and anxiety in the studied population.
Santos, Hugo Henrique
Background The growth of the Internet has led to significant change and has become an integral part of modern life. It has made life easier and provided innumerous benefits; however, excessive use has brought about the potential for addiction, leading to severe impairments in social, academic, financial, psychological, and work domains. Individuals addicted to the Internet usually have comorbid psychiatric disorders. Panic disorder (PD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are prevalent mental disorders, involving a great deal of damage in the patient’s life. Objective This open trial study describes a treatment protocol among 39 patients with anxiety disorders and Internet addiction (IA) involving pharmacotherapy and modified cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Methods Of the 39 patients, 25 were diagnosed with PD and 14 with GAD, in addition to Internet addiction. At screening, patients responded to the MINI 5.0, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Clinical Global Impressions Scale, and the Young Internet Addiction Scale. At that time, IA was observed taking into consideration the IAT scale (cutoff score above 50), while anxiety disorders were diagnosed by a psychiatrist. Patients were forwarded for pharmacotherapy and a modified CBT protocol. Psychotherapy was conducted individually, once a week, over a period of 10 weeks, and results suggest that the treatment was effective for anxiety and Internet addiction. Results Before treatment, anxiety levels suggested severe anxiety, with an average score of 34.26 (SD 6.13); however, after treatment the mean score was 15.03 (SD 3.88) (P<.001). A significant improvement in mean Internet addiction scores was observed, from 67.67 (SD 7.69) before treatment, showing problematic internet use, to 37.56 (SD 9.32) after treatment (P<.001), indicating medium Internet use. With respect to the relationship between IA and anxiety, the correlation between scores was .724. Conclusions This study is
Torpey, Dana C; Olino, Thomas M; Klein, Daniel N
Previous research has examined the role of parenting in the development of depression and anxiety disorders using retrospective reports of parenting behaviors. However, most studies have not considered comorbidity; the few that have did not differentially examine individual anxiety disorders and yielded inconsistent results. The present study compared retrospective parenting reports given by depressed individuals with no comorbid anxiety disorder, comorbid panic disorder, and comorbid social anxiety disorder. Results indicated that depressed men with panic disorder reported significantly greater maternal and nonsignificantly greater paternal protectiveness than depressed men without panic disorder but not than depressed women with and without panic disorder. No differences were found for the retrospective parenting reports given by depressed participants with or without social anxiety disorder. This work highlights the importance of examining specific anxiety disorders rather than grouping all depressed patients with any anxiety disorder together, as well as examining males and females separately when investigating the influence of parental behavior.
Teale Sapach, Michelle J N; Carleton, R Nicholas; Mulvogue, Myriah K; Weeks, Justin W; Heimberg, Richard G
Pioneering models of social anxiety disorder (SAD) underscored fear of negative evaluation (FNE) as central in the disorder's development. Additional cognitive predictors have since been identified, including fear of positive evaluation (FPE), anxiety sensitivity, and intolerance of uncertainty (IU), but rarely have these constructs been examined together. The present study concurrently examined the variance accounted for in SAD symptoms by these constructs. Participants meeting criteria for SAD (n = 197; 65% women) completed self-report measures online. FNE, FPE, anxiety sensitivity, and IU all accounted for unique variance in SAD symptoms. FPE accounted for variance comparable to FNE, and the cognitive dimension of anxiety sensitivity and the prospective dimension of IU accounted for comparable variance, though slightly less than that accounted for by FNE and FPE. The results support the theorized roles that these constructs play in the etiology of SAD and highlight both FNE and FPE as central foci in SAD treatment.
Smoller, Jordan W; Gardner-Schuster, Erica; Covino, Jennifer
Panic disorder and phobic anxiety disorders are common disorders that are often chronic and disabling. Genetic epidemiologic studies have documented that these disorders are familial and moderately heritable. Linkage studies have implicated several chromosomal regions that may harbor susceptibility genes; however, candidate gene association studies have not established a role for any specific loci to date. Increasing evidence from family and genetic studies suggests that genes underlying these disorders overlap and transcend diagnostic boundaries. Heritable forms of anxious temperament, anxiety-related personality traits and neuroimaging assays of fear circuitry may represent intermediate phenotypes that predispose to panic and phobic disorders. The identification of specific susceptibility variants will likely require much larger sample sizes and the integration of insights from genetic analyses of animal models and intermediate phenotypes.
Hishinuma, E S; Miyamoto, R H; Nishimura, S T; Goebert, D A; Yuen, N Y; Makini, G K; Andrade, N N; Johnson, R C; Carlton, B S
The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) in predicting DSM-III-R anxiety disorders based on the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC, Version 2.3) and using Asian/Pacific Islander adolescents. An overall prevalence rate of 9.19% for generalized anxiety disorder, overanxious disorder, or social phobia was consistent with past studies. As hypothesized, STAI negatively worded (i.e., Factor 2) items were better predictors than positively stated (i.e., Factor 1) items. The STAI State mean was a better predictor of concurrent DISC anxiety disorders as compared to STAI State Factors I or 2. In contrast, the STAI Trait Factor 2 (negatively worded) composite was the best predictor for nonconcurrent DISC anxiety disorders as compared to STAI Trait Factor 1 or the overall STAI Trait subscale. Satisfactory predictive-validity values were obtained when using the STAI State mean and Trait Factor 2 composite. Implications of these findings are discussed, including using the STAI as a screening measure for ethnically diverse adolescents.
McGuire, Joseph F.; Lewin, Adam B.; Storch, Eric A.
Translating findings from basic science, several compounds have been identified that may enhance therapeutic outcomes and/or expedite treatment gains when administered alongside exposure-based treatments. Four of these compounds (referred to as cognitive enhancers) have been evaluated in the context of randomized controlled trials for anxiety disorders (e.g., specific phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These cognitive enhancers include D-cycloserine, yohimbine hydrochloride, glucocorticoids and cortisol, and brain derived neurotrophic factor. There is consistent evidence that cognitive enhancers can enhance therapeutic outcomes and/or expedite treatment gains across anxiety disorders, OCD, and PTSD. Emerging evidence has highlighted the importance of within-session fear habituation and between-session fear learning, which can either enhance fear extinction or reconsolidate of fear responses. Although findings from these trials are promising, there are several considerations that warrant further evaluation prior to wide-spread use of cognitive enhancers in exposure-based treatments. Consistent trial design and large sample sizes are important in future studies of cognitive enhancers. PMID:24972729
Osório, Flávia de Lima; Crippa, José Alexandre de Souza; Loureiro, Sonia Regina
Great progress has been observed in the literature over the last decade regarding the validation of instruments for the assessment of Social Anxiety Disorder in the Brazilian context. Particularly outstanding in this respect is the production of a group of Brazilian investigators regarding the psychometric study of the following instruments: Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Social Phobia Inventory, Brief Social Phobia Scale, Disability Profile, Liebowitz Self-Rated Disability Scale, Social Phobia Safety Behaviors Scale and Self-Statements During Public Speaking Scale, which have proved to be appropriate and valid for use in the adult Brazilian population, representing resources for the assessment of social anxiety in clinical and experimental situations. PMID:24175172
Osório, Flávia de Lima; Crippa, José Alexandre de Souza; Loureiro, Sonia Regina
Great progress has been observed in the literature over the last decade regarding the validation of instruments for the assessment of Social Anxiety Disorder in the Brazilian context. Particularly outstanding in this respect is the production of a group of Brazilian investigators regarding the psychometric study of the following instruments: Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Social Phobia Inventory, Brief Social Phobia Scale, Disability Profile, Liebowitz Self-Rated Disability Scale, Social Phobia Safety Behaviors Scale and Self-Statements During Public Speaking Scale, which have proved to be appropriate and valid for use in the adult Brazilian population, representing resources for the assessment of social anxiety in clinical and experimental situations.
El-Bar, Nurit; Laufer, Offir; Yoran-Hegesh, Roni; Paz, Rony
Over-generalization of dangerous stimuli is a possible etiological account of anxiety. Recently, we demonstrated it could result from alterations in early perceptual mechanisms, i.e., a fundamental change in the way the stimulus is perceived. Yet it is still unclear if these mechanisms already exist in youth, or develop only later. The purpose of this study was therefore to explore the mechanism of generalization in youth suffering from anxiety disorders. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and age-matched control participants underwent a conditioning task where a loss or gain outcome was associated with two well-separated tones. A generalization probe then followed in which different surrounding tones were presented and classified. Generalization curves and changes in discrimination abilities were compared between groups and according to the background variables. We found that patients had lower perceptual discrimination thresholds after conditioning, and tended to have wider generalization curve. Relative enhanced generalization was observed in adolescents with anxiety, in males, and as the level of anxiety rose. Our results suggest that over-generalization in anxiety can start already during adolescence, and may suggest that an early perceptual source can give rise to later more cognitive over-generalization during adult anxiety.
Rapee, Ronald M
Family variables are thought to play a key role in a wide variety of psychopathology according to many theories. Yet, specific models of the development of anxiety disorders place little emphasis on general family factors despite clear evidence that anxiety runs in families. The current review examines evidence for the involvement of a number of family-related variables in the development of anxiety disorders as well as the importance of families in their management. Evidence across most areas is shown to be weak and inconsistent, with the one exception being an extensive literature on the role of parenting in the development of anxiety. There is also currently little evidence that family factors have a strong role to play in the treatment of anxiety, aside from research demonstrating the value of parents and partners as non-critical supports in therapy. The promises and hints in the literature, combined with the currently inconsistent methods, suggest that considerably more research is needed to determine whether specific family factors may yet be shown to play a key role in the development and management of anxiety disorders.
de Souza Moura, Antonio Marcos; Lamego, Murilo Khede; Paes, Flávia; Ferreira Rocha, Nuno Barbosa; Simoes-Silva, Vitor; Rocha, Susana Almeida; de Sá Filho, Alberto Souza; Rimes, Ridson; Manochio, João; Budde, Henning; Wegner, Mirko; Mura, Gioia; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Yuan, Ti-Fei; Nardi, Antonio Egidio; Machado, Sergio
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric disorders observed currently. It is a normal adaptive response to stress that allows coping with adverse situations. Nevertheless, when anxiety becomes excessive or disproportional in relation to the situation that evokes it or when there is not any special object directed at it, such as an irrational dread of routine stimuli, it becomes a disabling disorder and is considered to be pathological. The traditional treatment used is medication and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, however, last years the practice of physical exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, has been investigated as a new non-pharmacological therapy for anxiety disorders. Thus, the aim of this article was to provide information on research results and key chains related to the therapeutic effects of aerobic exercise compared with other types of interventions to treat anxiety, which may become a useful clinical application in a near future. Researches have shown the effectiveness of alternative treatments, such as physical exercise, minimizing high financial costs and minimizing side effects. The sample analyzed, 66.8% was composed of women and 80% with severity of symptoms anxiety as moderate to severe. The data analyzed in this review allows us to claim that alternative therapies like exercise are effective in controlling and reducing symptoms, as 91% of anxiety disorders surveys have shown effective results in treating. However, there is still disagreement regarding the effect of exercise compared to the use of antidepressant symptoms and cognitive function in anxiety, this suggests that there is no consensus on the correct intensity of aerobic exercise as to achieve the best dose-response, with intensities high to moderate or moderate to mild.