This projects will determine whether polygenetic risk for anxiety influences gene-expression in blood and brain function following stress.


Stress increases risk for developing anxiety, but far from eaveryone develops anxiety after stressful experiences. One possible explanation may be that the accumulation of a large number of variations in an individual's DNA (polygenetic risk) render some individuals more likely to develop anxiety after stress than others. If this is the case, it could be because the brains of these individuals react differently to stressors in the environment. It may also be because the variations in DNA influence gene expression in blood cells after stress, which in turn can have effects on the brain long after the stressful experience.

In order to investigate these possible explanations, we will study how stress affects gene expression and brain function in individuals with high and low polygenetic risk for anxiety. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council.


Project period



Project leader

Fredrik Åhs


010-142 87 76

Project members

Fara Tabrizi

Doktorand|Doctoral Student

Erik Arner

Erik Arner