Anxiety

Brain Facts

Posted by Safe In4 Hub

Anxious Brains Are Inherited, Study Finds

The brain function that underlies anxiety and depression is inherited, a new study finds ? but there is still plenty of space for experience and environment to reduce the risk of a full-blown mental disorder.

The research focused on rhesus monkeys. Like humans, some young rhesus monkeys have what's called an "anxious temperament." Expose them to a mildly stressful situation, like being in a room with a stranger, and the monkeys will stop moving and stop vocalizing while their stress hormones skyrocket. Extremely shy children do the same, said Dr. Ned Kalin, a psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin?Madison.

Kalin and his colleagues scanned the brains of young monkeys, anxious and not, and found three brain regions associated with anxiety that also showed evidence of heritability. About 30 percent of the variation in early anxiety is explained by family history, the researchers reported Monday (July 6) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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