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May 22, 2019

Genetics of Anxiety and Stress-Related Disorders—Toward a Bottom-up Cross-Disorder Psychopathology

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Center–University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(9):889-890. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0998

Anxiety spectrum disorders are characterized by disproportionate stimulus-associated fear, sustained anxiety, or uncontrollable worry in expectation of future threats. Hallmark diagnostic features intersect with the spectrum of stress-related disorders, characterized by intense physical and emotional reactions after exposure to a traumatic incident. This nosological connection is reflected by shared heritability estimates crossing classic categorical disease boundaries, suggesting a bottom-up causation-based reinterpretation of psychopathology.1