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Journal Article

Generalized anxiety disorder: comorbidity, comparative biology and treatment


Wittchen,  HU
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Nutt, D., Ballenger, J., Sheehan, D., & Wittchen, H. (2002). Generalized anxiety disorder: comorbidity, comparative biology and treatment. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 5(4), 315-325.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-A001-4
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a severe and chronic anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable worrying and somatic anxiety (tension, insomnia and hypervigilance). It is a common condition, with lifetime prevalence rates for DSM-IV GAD in the general population of approx. 5-6% being reported. In addition, like other anxiety disorders, GAD also shows comorbidity with depression and most of the other anxiety disorders. This article reviews data on the prevalence of GAD, its comorbidity with depression, and its social and economic impact, Proposed neurobiological mechanisms for GAD are discussed, since an understanding of these may help in the development of future therapies. Finally, current pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options for GAD are reviewed, with particular attention being paid to published clinical-trial dat