How Anxiety Works

Anxiety Disorders

According to an American scientific study carried out on 36,000 people from 1999 to 2003, 17% of men and 25% of women suffer from various anxiety disorders:

generalized anxiety

panic disorders


social phobia

post-traumatic stress

Anxiety is defined as a state of apprehension or inner fears unrelated to real danger. A tiny part of the brain is thought to regulate the level of anxiety: the cerebral amygdala. Two of its subparts, measuring only a few millimeters, are believed to be responsible for the anxiety. The basolateral amygdala emits signals that activate its partner, the centrolateral amygdala.

Mice were subjected to an anxiety test consisting of moving on a platform with reassuring areas and more anxiety-provoking areas (open to the air and without protection). As soon as the signal between these 2 parts was increased by the researchers, the mice left the protected areas to venture into the less reassuring parts of the system. Their anxiety level had greatly diminished.

By inhibiting the electric currents in the baso-centrolateral projections, the animals on the other hand immediately become anxious, and take refuge in the covered parts of the platform.

This study dissects anxiety circuits within a small area of ​​the brain, and may open the door to new research to find other ways to reduce stress in humans.


Louis Navellier

Stacey Abrams

Clint Eastwod