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Childhood and Early-Onset Anxiety: Treatment and Biomarker Studies

James T. McCracken, MD; John T. Walkup, MD; and Harold S. Koplewicz, MD

Published: June 1, 2002

Article Abstract

Increasing research attention is being applied to studies of early-onset anxiety, with a focus on itsphenomenology, etiology, and strategies for treatment. The impetus for these studies includes well-confirmedfindings from epidemiologic surveys clearly demonstrating that, as a group, the anxietydisorders represent the most highly prevalent form of psychopathology in children and adolescents.Overall rates of childhood anxiety disorders are estimated to be from 6% to 10%, depending uponcategories included and strategies for ascertainment. New work is currently being conducted in theform of large-scale rigorous treatment studies, and new investigations explore etiopathophysiologicaspects of anxiety in children and adolescents. Significant progress is being made in this importantclinical area that should translate to improved outcomes through refined diagnosis and empiricallytested treatments.

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