A fundamental issue in psychiatric medicine is the lack of empirical evidence indicating when, during development, a treatment will be most effective for a patient. We review behavioral and brain changes that occur across development, focusing on the period of adolescence, when there is a peak in diagnosis of many psychiatric disorders. We use anxiety disorders as an example because of their high prevalence in youth (affecting as many as 1 in 10). Basic forms of fear learning, which are at the core of anxiety disorders and are the targets of behavioral therapeutics, are examined as a function of age. We also discuss how fear learning has been genetically modulated in mice and humans. Based on these findings, we provide future directions for determining the efficacy of innovative therapies and preventive strategies for anxiety disorders as a function of age and potential genetic effects inferred from mice and humans.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error