Anxiety and growth disturbance: is there a connection? A review of biological studies in social phobia


Uhde TW




J Clin Psychiatry


Current knowledge of the neurobiology of social anxiety and social phobia is reviewed within the framework of chemical models of anxiety. Preliminary evidence for noradrenergic, serotonergic, and adenosinergic systems in the neurobiology of social phobia is presented and discussed within the context of medical model versus continuum theories of anxiety. The clinical and theoretical implications of a hypothesized linkage between anxiety disorders and hypothalamic-growth hormone dysfunction are presented. The author recommends that additional research strategies be developed to examine growth patterns and the function of growth hormone and other growth factors in children and adults with anxiety disorders; moreover, the rationale for additional longitudinal investigations of children with growth hormone deficiency short stature and psychosocial short stature is presented. It is hypothesized that individuals with growth hormone deficiency may be at high risk for the development of anxiety disorders.