Mar 29, 2020

Prefrontal-amygdala connectivity in trait anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder: Testing the boundaries between healthy and pathological worries

Journal of Affective Disorders
D Porta-CasteràsN Cardoner


Current brain-based theoretical models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) suggest a dysfunction of amygdala-ventromedial prefrontal cortex emotional regulatory mechanisms. These alterations might be reflected by an altered resting state functional connectivity between both areas and could extend to vulnerable non-clinical samples such as high worriers without a GAD diagnosis. However, there is a lack of information in this regard. We investigated differences in resting state functional connectivity between the basolateral amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (amygdala-vmPFC) in 28 unmedicated participants with GAD, 28 high-worriers and 28 low-worriers. We additionally explored selected clinical variables as predictors of amygdala-vmPFC connectivity, including anxiety sensitivity. GAD participants presented higher left amygdala-vmPFC connectivity compared to both groups of non-GAD participants, and there were no differences between the latter two groups. In our exploratory analyses, concerns about the cognitive consequences of anxiety (the cognitive dimension of anxiety sensitivity) were found to be a significant predictor of the left amygdala-vmPFC connectivity. The cross-sectional nature of our study preclude us ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Amygdaloid Structure
Theoretical Model
Prefrontal Cortex
Emotional Disorder
Cross-Sectional Studies
Low Income

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