Stress and anxiety disorders

E. A. Young, S. N. Garfinkel, Israel Liberzon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Fear, stress, and anxiety present overlapping concepts. Anxiety disorders may involve normal anxiety pathways that are abnormally activated or failure of other brain areas to properly modulate anxiety pathways. In general, anxiety disorders show activation of the sympathetic nervous system and central noradrenergic systems while relatively normal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The exception is PTSD, where significant controversy exists as to the HPA-axis picture with low cortisol, normal cortisol, and elevated cortisol reported in various studies. Despite controversy about basal cortisol, studies suggest exaggerated stress reactivity in PTSD as well as exaggerated amygdala response to fearful stimuli. Ultimately, neuroimaging studies in humans may help sort the various brain systems involved in fear, anxiety, and stress in both normal individuals and in individuals with anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHormones, Brain and Behavior Online
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780080887838
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Amygdala
  • Anxiety
  • Catecholamines
  • Cortisol
  • Fear
  • Growth hormone
  • HPA axis
  • Life events
  • Locus ceruleus
  • Neuroimaging
  • Stress
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Stress and anxiety disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this