University of Hertfordshire

  • Borwin Bandelow
  • David Baldwin
  • Marianna Abelli
  • Blanca Bolea-Alamanac
  • Michel Bourin
  • Samuel R. Chamberlain
  • Eduardo Cinosi
  • Simon Davies
  • Katharina Domschke
  • Edna Grünblatt
  • Marek Jarema
  • Yong Ku Kim
  • Eduard Maron
  • Vasileios Masdrakis
  • Olya Mikova
  • David Nutt
  • Stefano Pallanti
  • Stefano Pini
  • Andreas Ströhle
  • Florence Thibaut
  • Matilde M. Vaghi
  • Eunsoo Won
  • Dirk Wedekind
  • Adam Wichniak
  • Jade Woolley
  • Peter Zwanzger
  • Peter Riederer
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-214
Number of pages53
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Early online date15 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2016


Objective: Biomarkers are defined as anatomical, biochemical or physiological traits that are specific to certain disorders or syndromes. The objective of this paper is to summarise the current knowledge of biomarkers for anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods: Findings in biomarker research were reviewed by a task force of international experts in the field, consisting of members of the World Federation of Societies for Biological Psychiatry Task Force on Biological Markers and of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Anxiety Disorders Research Network. Results: The present article (Part II) summarises findings on potential biomarkers in neurochemistry (neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine or GABA, neuropeptides such as cholecystokinin, neurokinins, atrial natriuretic peptide, or oxytocin, the HPA axis, neurotrophic factors such as NGF and BDNF, immunology and CO2 hypersensitivity), neurophysiology (EEG, heart rate variability) and neurocognition. The accompanying paper (Part I) focuses on neuroimaging and genetics. Conclusions: Although at present, none of the putative biomarkers is sufficient and specific as a diagnostic tool, an abundance of high quality research has accumulated that should improve our understanding of the neurobiological causes of anxiety disorders, OCD and PTSD.

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