Study led by Michael Fanselow at UCLA proposes connection between brain injuries and the onset of anxiety disorders

November 4, 2019

Michael Fanselow, distinguished professor of psychology (UCLA Life Sciences) and psychiatry & biobehavioral sciences (David Geffen School of Medicine), led a study focusing on the connection between traumatic brain injuries and anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study was published in Scientific Reports, a sub journal of Nature.

Michael Fanselow (Photo Credit: Reed Hutchinson/UCLA)

The study evaluated the effects that sustaining a brain injury has on the development of anxiety disorders, which commonly exist in U.S military members after their service. After a brain injury, the region of the brain responsible for processing fear called the amygdala experiences significant changes in activity level. Fanselow hopes that this discovery will open the door for new behavioral and pharmacological treatment options for patients suffering from anxiety and other related disorders.

Read more at UCLA Newsroom.

Michael Fanselow research study: Scientific Reports. Sci Rep 9, 13841 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-50312-y

This study was made possible thanks to funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge Fellowship Fund, Staglin Center for Brain and Behavioral Health, and UCLA Brain Injury Research Center.