Anxiety Disorders: From Bench to Bedside and Beyond

  • Jonathan Starke
  • Naomi Fineberg
  • Dan Stein


The anxiety disorders are prevalent, associated with high comorbidity and cause considerable disability. Despite efficacious treatment options, they are frequently misdiagnosed, and management is often suboptimal. With the recent publication of the DSM-5 and the imminent release of the ICD-11, there have been important debates about how best to categorize and conceptualize these disorders. In addition, their underlying neurobiology is being explored at multiple levels from systems neuroscience to molecular biology and genetics—an endeavour that is delivering insights with relevance to clinical practice. Furthermore, several international anxiety disorder treatment guidelines have recently been published, and large systematic reviews and meta-analyses have addressed important questions around clinical management. All of this indicates the need for an update on advances in this rapidly developing field, and this chapter therefore provides an overview of the epidemiology and classification, cognitive-affective neuroscience and clinical management of the anxiety disorders.


Anxiety disorders DSM-5 Neuroscience Fear circuit Amygdala Neuropeptides Treatment guidelines d-cycloserine Pregabalin Mindfulness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Starke
    • 1
  • Naomi Fineberg
    • 2
  • Dan Stein
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, University of Hertfordshire, University of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and MRC Unit on Risk and Resilience in Mental DisordersUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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