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In Pursuit of an Indicator for Anxiety Disorders

Scientists discover signs of a protective mechanism in the brain

Jülich, September 2014 – Some 1.5 million Germans are affected by pathological anxiety disorders or panic attacks. A group of researchers from Jülich, Münster, and Würzburg studied the brains of healthy individuals, some of whom had an increased genetic risk for anxiety disorders. In these high-risk subjects, they found increased concentrations of special proteins referred to as adenosine A1 receptors, which play an important role in signal transduction in the brain. This finding opens up new research approaches to the drug treatment of patients with pathological levels of anxiety. The results have been published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

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