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The biology of mood and anxiety disorders

 We are witnessing a dramatic shift in the foundations of mental health and psychiatry, where research into the biological underpinnings of psychopathology is becoming increasingly important. This article collection aims to focus on all areas relevant to the mood and anxiety disorders at the level of their underlying mechanisms, including but not limited to: pathophysiology, predictive risk markers, treatment predictors, individual differences and developmental trajectories of mood and anxiety disorders. We welcome further research submissions on these topics. If you would like to submit your manuscript for consideration in the series, please contact

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  1. Research article

    A MRS study of metabolic alterations in the frontal white matter of major depressive disorder patients with the treatment of SSRIs

    Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides a non-invasive technology to study brain metabolite levels in vivo, which can be used to measure biochemical compounds or metabolite concentrations in circumscribed...

    Yifan Zhang, Yu Han, Yongzhi Wang, Yinfeng Zhang, Li Li, Erhu Jin, Ligang Deng, Brandi Watts, Teresa Golden and Ning Wu

    BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:99

    Published on: 2 May 2015

  2. Perspective

    Neurocognitive therapeutics: from concept to application in the treatment of negative attention bias

    There is growing interest in the use of neuroimaging for the direct treatment of mental illness. Here, we present a new framework for such treatment, neurocognitive therapeutics. What distinguishes neurocognit...

    David M Schnyer, Christopher G Beevers, Megan T deBettencourt, Stephanie M Sherman, Jonathan D Cohen, Kenneth A Norman and Nicholas B Turk-Browne

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2015 5:1

    Published on: 18 April 2015

  3. Research article

    Multimodal functional and structural neuroimaging investigation of major depressive disorder following treatment with duloxetine

    Longitudinal neuroimaging studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) have most commonly assessed the effects of antidepressants from the serotonin reuptake inhibitor class and usually reporting a single measur...

    Cynthia HY Fu, Sergi G Costafreda, Anjali Sankar, Tracey M Adams, Mark M Rasenick, Peng Liu, Robert Donati, Luigi A Maglanoc, Paul Horton and Lauren B Marangell

    BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:82

    Published on: 14 April 2015

  4. Research article

    Oxidant/antioxidant imbalance is an inherent feature of depression

    50% to 60% of the people who have recovered from the first episode of depression experience a relapse. The immune system of the people suffering from depression is in a permanent state of pathological pro-infl...

    Monika Talarowska, Janusz Szemraj, Michael Berk, Michael Maes and Piotr Gałecki

    BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:71

    Published on: 8 April 2015

  5. Research article

    Association of decreased serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations in early pregnancy with antepartum depression

    Antepartum depression is one of the leading causes of maternal morbidity and mortality in the prenatal period. There is accumulating evidence for the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the pat...

    Jenny Fung, Bizu Gelaye, Qiu-Yue Zhong, Marta B Rondon, Sixto E Sanchez, Yasmin V Barrios, Karin Hevner, Chunfang Qiu and Michelle A Williams

    BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:43

    Published on: 10 March 2015

  6. Research article

    Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and personality traits in patients with major depression

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors. Previous studies have demonstrated lower serum BDNF levels in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) an...

    Hiroshi Nomoto, Hajime Baba, Emi Satomura, Hitoshi Maeshima, Naoko Takebayashi, Yuki Namekawa, Toshihito Suzuki and Heii Arai

    BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:33

    Published on: 4 March 2015

  7. Research

    Brain white matter integrity and association with age at onset in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and debilitating neuropsychiatric illness thought to involve abnormal connectivity of widespread brain networks, including frontal-striatal-thalamic circuits. At...

    Isabelle M Rosso, Elizabeth A Olson, Jennifer C Britton, S Evelyn Stewart, George Papadimitriou, William DS Killgore, Nikos Makris, Sabine Wilhelm, Michael A Jenike and Scott L Rauch

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:13

    Published on: 18 December 2014

  8. Research

    Aberrant amygdala functional connectivity at rest in pediatric anxiety disorders

    Childhood onset of anxiety disorders is associated with greater functional impairment and burden across the lifespan. Recent work suggests that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by dysfunctio...

    Lisa L Hamm, Rachel H Jacobs, Meghan W Johnson, Daniel A Fitzgerald, Kate D Fitzgerald, Scott A Langenecker, Christopher S Monk and K Luan Phan

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:15

    Published on: 9 December 2014

  9. Research

    Resting state amygdala-prefrontal connectivity predicts symptom change after cognitive behavioral therapy in generalized social anxiety disorder

    Aberrant amygdala-prefrontal interactions at rest and during emotion processing are implicated in the pathophysiology of generalized social anxiety disorder (gSAD), a common disorder characterized by fears of ...

    Heide Klumpp, Michael K Keutmann, Daniel A Fitzgerald, Stewart A Shankman and K Luan Phan

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:14

    Published on: 9 December 2014

  10. Research article

    Statin use and risk of depression: a Swedish national cohort study

    Statin medications, used to prevent heart disease by reducing cholesterol, also reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative damage. As inflammation and oxidative stress occur in depression, there is inte...

    Cassie Redlich, Michael Berk, Lana J Williams, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist and Xinjun Li

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:348

    Published on: 4 December 2014

  11. Research article

    Lifestyle factors, demographics and medications associated with depression risk in an international sample of people with multiple sclerosis

    Depression is the most common co-morbidity for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS); irrespective of disease severity, depression has the greatest impact on quality of life. An emerging paradigm in the treatmen...

    Keryn L Taylor, Emily J Hadgkiss, George A Jelinek, Tracey J Weiland, Naresh G Pereira, Claudia H Marck and Dania M van der Meer

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:327

    Published on: 3 December 2014

  12. Research

    Reduced hippocampal and medial prefrontal gray matter mediate the association between reported childhood maltreatment and trait anxiety in adulthood and predict sensitivity to future life stress

    The experience of early life stress is a consistently identified risk factor for the development of mood and anxiety disorders. Preclinical research employing animal models of early life stress has made inroad...

    Adam X Gorka, Jamie L Hanson, Spenser R Radtke and Ahmad R Hariri

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:12

    Published on: 13 November 2014

  13. Research

    Botulinum toxin-induced facial muscle paralysis affects amygdala responses to the perception of emotional expressions: preliminary findings from an A-B-A design

    It has long been suggested that feedback signals from facial muscles influence emotional experience. The recent surge in use of botulinum toxin (BTX) to induce temporary muscle paralysis offers a unique opport...

    M Justin Kim, Maital Neta, F Caroline Davis, Erika J Ruberry, Diana Dinescu, Todd F Heatherton, Mitchell A Stotland and Paul J Whalen

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:11

    Published on: 31 October 2014

  14. Brief Report

    Insula response to unpredictable and predictable aversiveness in individuals with panic disorder and comorbid depression

    Prior studies suggest that hyperactive insula responding to unpredictable aversiveness is a core feature of anxiety disorders. However, no study to date has investigated the neural correlates of unpredictable ...

    Stephanie M Gorka, Brady D Nelson, K Luan Phan and Stewart A Shankman

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:9

    Published on: 7 October 2014

  15. Research article

    Clinical predictors associated with full remission versus episode of major depressive disorder outpatients: the experience at a teaching hospital in Taiwan

    When depressed patients are in remission, the clinical characteristics indicate that they are able to participate in social activities more regularly, and their impairment in daily functioning is improved. The...

    Mei-Yu Yeh, Yu Lee, Su-Ching Sung and Tao-Hsin Tung

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:273

    Published on: 24 September 2014

  16. Research

    Structural abnormality of the corticospinal tract in major depressive disorder

    Scientists are beginning to document abnormalities in white matter connectivity in major depressive disorder (MDD). Recent developments in diffusion-weighted image analyses, including tractography clustering m...

    Matthew D Sacchet, Gautam Prasad, Lara C Foland-Ross, Shantanu H Joshi, J Paul Hamilton, Paul M Thompson and Ian H Gotlib

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:8

    Published on: 10 September 2014

  17. Research article

    Higher perceived stress and poorer health reflected in elevated cortisol concentrations measured in extracts of hair from middle-aged healthy women

    The prevalence of mental strain and stress has increased in modern societies, resulting in increased public health problems. Stress can be measured either by biomarkers or by self-reports. A new biomarker that...

    Åshild Faresjö, Miriam Jullander, Sara Götmalm and Elvar Theodorsson

    BMC Psychology 2014 2:30

    Published on: 31 August 2014

  18. Research article

    Neuroticism developmental courses - implications for depression, anxiety and everyday emotional experience; a prospective study from adolescence to young adulthood

    Neuroticism is frequently discussed as a risk factor for psychopathology. According to the maturity principle, neuroticism decreases over the course of life, but not uniformly across individuals. However, the ...

    Maren Aldinger, Malte Stopsack, Ines Ulrich, Katja Appel, Eva Reinelt, Sebastian Wolff, Hans Jörgen Grabe, Simone Lang and Sven Barnow

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:210

    Published on: 6 August 2014

  19. Research article

    Relationship of cortisol levels and genetic polymorphisms to antidepressant response to placebo and fluoxetine in patients with major depressive disorder: a prospective study

    Increased cortisol levels and genetic polymorphisms have been related to both major depressive disorder and antidepressant treatment outcome. The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between circa...

    Raúl Ventura-Juncá, Adriana Symon, Pamela López, Jenny L Fiedler, Graciela Rojas, Cristóbal Heskia, Pamela Lara, Felipe Marín, Viviana Guajardo, A Verónica Araya, Jaime Sasso and Luisa Herrera

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:220

    Published on: 3 August 2014

  20. Research article

    Association of serum leptin and ghrelin with depressive symptoms in a Japanese working population: a cross-sectional study

    Leptin and ghrelin have been implicated in the pathogenesis of major depression. However, evidence is lacking among apparently healthy people. This study examined the relationship of these appetite hormones to...

    Shamima Akter, Ngoc Minh Pham, Akiko Nanri, Kayo Kurotani, Keisuke Kuwahara, Felice N Jacka, Kazuki Yasuda, Masao Sato and Tetsuya Mizoue

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:203

    Published on: 30 July 2014

  21. Research article

    Telomere shortening in leukocyte subpopulations in depression

    Telomere shortening is a normal age-related process. However, premature shortening of telomeres in leukocytes – as has been reported in depression – may increase the risk for age-related diseases. While previo...

    Alexander Karabatsiakis, Iris-Tatjana Kolassa, Stephan Kolassa, K Lenhard Rudolph and Detlef E Dietrich

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:192

    Published on: 5 July 2014

  22. Research article

    Pain, not chronic disease, is associated with the recurrence of depressive and anxiety disorders

    Studies suggest that poor physical health might be associated with increased depression and anxiety recurrence. The objectives of this study were to determine whether specific chronic diseases and pain charact...

    Marloes MJG Gerrits, Patricia van Oppen, Stephanie S Leone, Harm WJ van Marwijk, Henriëtte E van der Horst and Brenda W Penninx

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:187

    Published on: 25 June 2014

  23. Research article

    Lack of association of acute phase response proteins with hormone levels and antidepressant medication in perimenopausal depression

    Major depression is associated with higher plasma levels of positive acute-phase proteins, as well as with lower plasma levels of negative acute-phase proteins. The aim of this study is to examine the levels o...

    Sokratis E Karaoulanis, Katerina A Rizouli, Andreas A Rizoulis and Nikiforos V Angelopoulos

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:164

    Published on: 4 June 2014

  24. Research

    Area-dependent time courses of brain activation during video-induced symptom provocation in social anxiety disorder

    Previous functional imaging studies using symptom provocation in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) reported inconsistent findings, which might be at least partially related to different time-dependen...

    Stephanie Boehme, Alexander Mohr, Michael PI Becker, Wolfgang HR Miltner and Thomas Straube

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:6

    Published on: 28 April 2014

  25. Research article

    Decreased plasma neuroactive amino acids and increased nitric oxide levels in melancholic major depressive disorder

    Amino acid neurotransmitters and nitric oxide (NO) are involved in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Here we want to establish whether changes in their plasma levels may serve as biomarker f...

    Yun-Rong Lu, Xin-Yan Fu, Li-Gen Shi, Yan Jiang, Juan-Li Wu, Xiao-Juan Weng, Zhao-Pin Wang, Xue-Yan Wu, Zheng Lin, Wei-Bo Liu, Hui-Chun Li, Jian-Hong Luo and Ai-Min Bao

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:123

    Published on: 27 April 2014

  26. Research article

    Cortical thickness in youth with major depressive disorder

    Studies in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) have implicated dysregulation of frontal-limbic circuits in the symptomology of this disorder. We hypothesized that the middle frontal gyrus (MFG; a core ...

    Stephanie Reynolds, Normand Carrey, Natalia Jaworska, Lisa Marie Langevin, Xiao-Ru Yang and Frank P MacMaster

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:83

    Published on: 20 March 2014

  27. Research

    The Behavioural Inhibition System, anxiety and hippocampal volume in a non-clinical population

    Animal studies have suggested that the hippocampus may play an important role in anxiety as part of the Behavioural Inhibition System (BIS), which mediates reactivity to threat and punishment and can predict a...

    Liat Levita, Catherine Bois, Andrew Healey, Emily Smyllie, Evelina Papakonstantinou, Tom Hartley and Colin Lever

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:4

    Published on: 7 March 2014

  28. Research

    Social stimulation and corticolimbic reactivity in premenstrual dysphoric disorder: a preliminary study

    Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), characterized by luteal phase-induced negative affect and loss of impulse control, often results in compromised social interactions. Although amygdala activation is gene...

    Malin Gingnell, Victoria Ahlstedt, Elin Bannbers, Johan Wikström, Inger Sundström-Poromaa and Mats Fredrikson

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:3

    Published on: 26 February 2014

  29. Research

    Daily stress reactivity and serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) variation: internalizing responses to everyday stress as a possible transdiagnostic phenotype

    Recent studies examining the interaction between the 5-HTTLPR locus in the serotonin transporter gene and life stress in predicting depression have yielded equivocal results, leading some researchers to questi...

    Christopher C Conway, George M Slavich and Constance Hammen

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:2

    Published on: 24 January 2014

  30. Research article

    Impaired social decision making in patients with major depressive disorder

    Abnormal decision-making processes have been observed in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, it is unresolved whether MDD patients show abnormalities in decision making in a social interact...

    Yun Wang, Yuan Zhou, Shu Li, Peng Wang, Guo-Wei Wu and Zhe-Ning Liu

    BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:18

    Published on: 23 January 2014

  31. Research

    Increased anxiety in corticotropin-releasing factor type 2 receptor-null mice requires recent acute stress exposure and is associated with dysregulated serotonergic activity in limbic brain areas

    Corticotropin-releasing factor type 2 receptors (CRFR2) are suggested to facilitate successful recovery from stress to maintain mental health. They are abundant in the midbrain raphe nuclei, where they regulat...

    Orna Issler, Roderick N Carter, Evan D Paul, Paul AT Kelly, Henry J Olverman, Adi Neufeld-Cohen, Yael Kuperman, Christopher A Lowry, Jonathan R Seckl, Alon Chen and Pauline M Jamieson

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:1

    Published on: 21 January 2014

  32. Research

    Brain white matter microstructure alterations in adolescent rhesus monkeys exposed to early life stress: associations with high cortisol during infancy

    Early adverse experiences, especially those involving disruption of the mother-infant relationship, are detrimental for proper socioemotional development in primates. Humans with histories of childhood maltrea...

    Brittany R Howell, Kai M McCormack, Alison P Grand, Nikki T Sawyer, Xiaodong Zhang, Dario Maestripieri, Xiaoping Hu and Mar M Sanchez

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2013 3:21

    Published on: 2 December 2013

  33. Research

    Early handling attenuates enhancement of glucocorticoid receptors in the prefrontal cortex in an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder

    Changes in glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of stress related psychiatric disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Abnormal adaptation of t...

    Sophie A George, Stephanie A Stout, Melissa Tan, Dayan Knox and Israel Liberzon

    Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2013 3:22

    Published on: 2 December 2013

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