Genetics of therapy for children's anxiety

Posted on March 18, 2016

Photo: flickr

A new study of children with anxiety disorders suggests that response to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is influenced by many genetic variants of small effect - rather than any individual gene.

The research, led by scientists from King's College London and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, is the first to explore the impact of DNA variants across the entire genome on CBT response.

Scientists from King's analysed the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and changes in symptom severity during CBT. Each SNP represents a difference in a single nucleotide base pair, and these SNPs account for inherited differences between people.

Contrary to previous research, which has not looked genome-wide, they did not identify any individual SNPs or variants with large effects on treatment response. This suggests that response to CBT may be influenced instead by many variants with small effects, a pattern that has been seen in genome-wide studies of many behavioural traits.

Category(s):Anxiety, Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Source material from King's College London

Mental Health News