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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. Content type: Research

    Coordination of activity between the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is important for fear-extinction learning. Aberrant recruitment of this circuitry is associated with anxiety disorders. ...

    Authors: Jayne Morriss, Anastasia Christakou and Carien M. van Reekum

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2015 5:4

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  2. Content type: Research article

    Childhood maltreatment is considered an important risk factor for the development of major depression. Research indicates an association between childhood adversity and altered emotion processing. Depression i...

    Authors: Vivien Günther, Udo Dannlowski, Anette Kersting and Thomas Suslow

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:123

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  3. Content type: Review

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is accompanied by disturbed sleep and an impaired ability to learn and remember extinction of conditioned fear. Following a traumatic event, the full spectrum of PTSD symp...

    Authors: Edward F. Pace-Schott, Anne Germain and Mohammed R. Milad

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2015 5:3

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  4. Content type: Research

    Previous research reported that individual differences in the stress response were moderated by an interaction between individuals’ life stress experience and the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic regio...

    Authors: Elif A Duman and Turhan Canli

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2015 5:2

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  5. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:99

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  6. Content type: Perspective

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2015 5:1

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  7. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:82

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  8. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:71

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  9. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:43

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  10. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2015 15:33

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  11. Content type: Research article

    Subsyndromal depression (SSD) is considered as a predictor for future depressive disorders, however whether white matter abnormalities are involved in the high-susceptibility of women to depressive disorders d...

    Authors: Xianglan Wang, Jiong Tao, Lingjiang Li, Zhiyong Zhong, Sha Liu, Tianzi Jiang and Jinbei Zhang

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:367

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  12. Content type: Research article

    In view of previous conflicting findings, this meta-analysis was performed to comprehensively determine the overall strength of associations between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) genetic polymorphis...

    Authors: Zuowei Wang, Zezhi Li, Keming Gao and Yiru Fang

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:366

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  13. Content type: Research article

    Postnatal depression (PND) is an important health problem of global relevance for maternal health and impacts on the health and wellbeing of the child over the life-course. Although recent multinational data i...

    Authors: Nasir Warfa, Melissa Harper, Giampaolo Nicolais and Kamaldeep Bhui

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2014 2:56

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  14. Content type: Research

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:13

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  15. Content type: Research

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:15

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  16. Content type: Research

    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 ...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:14

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  17. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:348

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  18. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:327

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  19. Content type: Research article

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental illness with high lifetime prevalence close to 20%. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies have reported decreased prefrontal, insular and limbic cerebral...

    Authors: Liang Su, Yiyun Cai, Yifeng Xu, Anirban Dutt, Shenxun Shi and Elvira Bramon

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:321

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  20. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:12

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  21. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:11

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  22. Content type: Brief Report

    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 ...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:9

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  23. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:273

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  24. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:8

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  25. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: Åshild Faresjö, Miriam Jullander, Sara Götmalm and Elvar Theodorsson

    Citation: BMC Psychology 2014 2:30

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  26. Content type: Research article

    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 ...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:210

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  27. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:220

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  28. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:203

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  29. Content type: Research article

    Traumatic stress leads to functional reorganization in the brain and may trigger an alarm response. However, when the traumatic event produces severe helplessness, the predominant peri-traumatic response may i...

    Authors: Inga Schalinski, James Moran, Maggie Schauer and Thomas Elbert

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:193

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  30. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:192

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  31. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:187

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  32. Content type: Research article

    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...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:164

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  33. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:6

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  34. Content type: Research article

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:123

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  35. Content type: Research article

    This investigation examines differences in cognitive profiles in subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

    Authors: Sanne M Hendriks, Carmilla MM Licht, Jan Spijker, Aartjan TF Beekman, Florian Hardeveld, Ron de Graaf and Brenda WJH Penninx

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:96

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  36. Content type: Research article

    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 ...

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

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:83

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  37. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:4

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  38. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:3

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  39. Content type: Research article

    Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested an abnormal neural circuitry of emotion regulation including the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in both adult and adolescent generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) pati...

    Authors: Mei Liao, Fan Yang, Yan Zhang, Zhong He, Linyan Su and Lingjiang Li

    Citation: BMC Psychiatry 2014 14:41

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  40. Content type: Research

    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...

    Authors: Christopher C Conway, George M Slavich and Constance Hammen

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:2

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  41. Content type: Research

    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...

    Authors: 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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2014 4:1

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  42. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2013 3:22

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  43. Content type: Research

    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...

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

    Citation: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2013 3:21

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