In this medical health video Dr. Pine describes the techniques that will help researchers better predict which children are most at risk for long-term anxiety.
Read the full transcript »
Female Speaker: Doctor Pine's research has found that anxiety in children is common and usually transient. Persistent long-term childhood anxiety, however, can lead to problems later in life. Dr. Daniel Pine: It can be very, very short, a matter of hours to days. It can be kind of medium length in duration, a matter of days to weeks to maybe a month or it can be what we call persistent, the third kind of anxiety. Persistent anxiety is the kind of anxiety that manifests over many months to years and that's the type of anxiety that we really need to understand a lot better, because it's that kind of anxiety as opposed to the first two kinds of anxieties that probably show the strongest relationships with problems throughout life into adulthood. Female Speaker: And therein lies the dilemma for doctors and researchers. How do you treat children with anxiety disorders if you're not sure a child is suffering from transient or persistent anxiety? Dr. Daniel Pine: One of the major things that we don't understand right now is when we see a child who has anxiety today, how we can predict how long that anxiety is going to go on. It's the type of question for which current research does not have very good answers. The hope is that if we understand more about the relationship between how the brain works and how long anxiety will last, we're going to better be able to predict which child with anxiety is really going to do fine and is going to recover and which child with anxiety is not going to do fine and is not going to recover. Because if we had a test to tell us that we could focus on helping those children who are most at risk and we could provide some really great reassurance to kids and parents who are presenting with anxiety that might look very upsetting on the day that we see the child.