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Imaging and Genetic Approaches to Inform Biomarkers for Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive–Compulsive Disorders, and PSTD

  • Eduard MaronEmail author
  • Chen-Chia Lan
  • David Nutt
Chapter
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 40)

Abstract

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the world and also claim the highest health care cost among various neuropsychiatric disorders. Anxiety disorders have a chronic and recurrent course and cause significantly negative impacts on patients’ social, personal, and occupational functioning as well as quality of life. Despite their high prevalence rates, anxiety disorders have often been under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed, and consequently under-treated. Even with the correct diagnosis, anxiety disorders are known to be difficult to treat successfully. In order to implement better strategies in diagnosis, prognosis, treatment decision, and early prevention for anxiety disorders, tremendous efforts have been put into studies using genetic and neuroimaging techniques to advance our understandings of the underlying biological mechanisms. In addition to anxiety disorders including panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), specific phobias, social anxiety disorders (SAD), due to overlapping symptom dimensions, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (which were removed from the anxiety disorder category in DSM-5 to become separate categories) are also included for review of relevant genetic and neuroimaging findings. Although the number of genetic or neuroimaging studies focusing on anxiety disorders is relatively small compare to other psychiatric disorders such as psychotic disorders or mood disorders, various structural abnormalities in the grey or white matter, functional alterations of activity during resting-state or task conditions, molecular changes of neurotransmitter receptors or transporters, and genetic associations have all been reported. With continuing effort, further genetic and neuroimaging research may potentially lead to clinically useful biomarkers for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of these disorders.

Keywords

Anxiety disorders Biomarkers Brain imaging Genetics 

Abbreviations

[11C]5-HTP

[11C]5-hydroxytryptophan

[18F]FDG

[18F]fluorodeoxyglucose

5-HT1A

Serotonin type 1A

5-HT1B

Serotonin type 1B

5-HT2A

Serotonin type 2A

5-HTT

Serotonin transporter

5-HTTLPR

Serotonin transporter polymorphism

ACC

Anterior cingulate cortex

BA

Brodmann area

BDNF

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor

BNST

Bed nucleus of stria terminalis

BOLD

Blood-oxygen-level dependent

BZD

Benzodiazepine

CBT

Cognitive behavioural therapy

COMT

Catechol-O-methyltransferase

CSTC

Cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical

DAT

Dopamine transporter

DLPFC

Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

DMPFC

Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex

DRD2

Dopamine D2 receptor

DRD3

Dopamine D3 receptor

DSM-5

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

DTI

Diffusion tensor imaging

EEG

Electroencephalography

FA

Fractional anisotropy

fALFF

Fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations

fMRI

Functional magnetic resonance imaging

GABA

γ-Aminobutyric acid

GAD

Generalised anxiety disorder

Glx

Glutamate + glutamine

GM

Grey matter

GWA

Genome-wide association

IFG

Inferior frontal gyrus

IPL

Inferior parietal lobule

ITG

Inferior temporal gyrus

MAOA

Monoamine oxidase A

MCC

Mid cingulate cortex

MEG

Magnetoencephalography

MeTL

Medial temporal lobe

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

MRS

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy

MTF

Middle temporal gyrus

NAA

N-acetylaspartate

NK1

Neurokinin-1

NPY

Neuropeptide Y

OCD

Obsessive–compulsive disorder

OFC

Orbitofrontal cortex

PBMCs

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells

PCC

Posterior cingulate cortex

PD

Panic disorder

PDA

Panic disorder and agoraphobia

PET

Positron emission tomography

PFC

Prefrontal cortex

PSMD9

Proteasome modulator 9

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder

rCBF

Regional cerebral blood flow

rCMRGlc

Regional cerebral metabolic rate of glucose uptake

RGS2

Regulator of G-protein signaling 2

RSFC

Resting-state functional connectivity

SAD

Social anxiety disorder

SLF

Superior longitudinal fasciculus

SMA

Supplementary motor area

SNPs

Single nucleotide polymorphisms

SNRIs

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors

SP

Simple phobias

SPECT

Single photon emission computed tomography

SPL

Superior parietal lobe

SSRIs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

STG

Superior temporal gyrus

TMEM132D

Transmembrane protein 132D

TPH2

Tryptophan hydroxylase 2

VBM

Voxel-based morphometry

VLPFC

Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

VMPFC

Ventromedial prefrontal cortex

WM

White matter

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, Centre for Academic Psychiatry, Division of Brain SciencesImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryNorth Estonia Medical CentreTallinnEstonia
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryTaichung Veterans General HospitalTaichungTaiwan

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