Transitional and translational studies of risk for anxiety
Disease Models, Animal
Adolescence reflects a period of increased rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. Yet most teens emerge from this period with a healthy, positive outcome. In this article, we identify biological factors that may increase risk for some individuals during this developmental period by: (1) examining changes in neural circuitry underlying core phenotypic features of anxiety as healthy individuals transition into and out of adolescence; (2) examining genetic factors that may enhance the risk for psychopathology in one individual over another using translation from mouse models to human neuroimaging and behavior; and (3) examining the effects of early experiences on core phenotypic features of anxiety using human neuroimaging and behavioral approaches. Each of these approaches alone provides only limited information on genetic and environmental influences on complex human behavior across development. Together, they reflect an emerging field of translational developmental neuroscience in forming important bridges between animal models of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.