Genetics of anxiety disorders

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There is considerable evidence that genetic determinants play a major role in the etiology of anxiety. Investigations into susceptibility genes for anxiety are well underway, particularly for panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder and more broadly defined anxiety-related traits, such as neuroticism and harm avoidance. This review will discuss some of the core issues related to diagnosis and molecular genetic methodology, followed by a review of recent molecular genetic findings for anxiety. The authors will attempt to highlight the numerous convergent and exciting findings. Given the rapid acceleration in knowledge of the human genome, a more definitive understanding of the genetic roots of these complex conditions may be anticipated in the relatively near future.

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