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Lau, J. Y. Britton, J. C. Nelson, E. E. Angold, A. Ernst, M. Goldwin, M. Grillon, C. Leibenluft, E. Lissek, S. Norcross, M. Shiffrin, N. and Pine, D. S. 2011. Distinct neural signatures of threat learning in adolescents and adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, Issue. 11, p. 4500.
Spatola, Chiara A. M. Scaini, Simona Pesenti-Gritti, Paola Medland, Sarah E. Moruzzi, Sara Ogliari, Anna Tambs, Kristian and Battaglia, Marco 2011. Gene-environment interactions in panic disorder and CO2 sensitivity: Effects of events occurring early in life. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, Vol. 156, Issue. 1, p. 79.
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Gregory, Alice M. 2008. Finding gene–environment interactions for anxiety. Psychiatry, Vol. 7, Issue. 12, p. 525.
Consistent evidence shows both genetic and stress-related risks on child and adolescent anxiety, yet few studies have considered the degree to which genetic effects are moderated by stress (gene–environment interaction). We used longitudinal data from both a child and adolescent sample of twins to examine three novel issues on the presence of gene–environment interaction on anxiety symptoms. First, we assessed moderation of genetic risks on anxiety symptoms by negative life events in each age group. Second, by distinguishing between “stable” and “age-specific” genetic factors, we explored the continuity of gene–environment interaction across time and/or its emergence at specific ages. Third, we compared the presence of gene–environment interaction across different symptom types (general, panic, social, and separation). Genetic effects on separation anxiety symptoms in childhood (mean age = 8 years, 6 months) and panic anxiety symptoms in adolescence (mean age = 15 years) increased across independent negative life events. Shared environmental effects on separation anxiety symptoms and nonshared environmental effects on general anxiety symptoms in adolescence were also moderated by negative life events. We interpret these preliminary findings tentatively in the context of gene–environment interaction on anxiety in general, and on early separation and later panic anxiety in particular.
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