Neurodevelopmental changes over the lifespan, from childhood through adulthood into old age, have important implications for the onset, presentation, course, and treatment of anxiety disorders. This article presents data on anxiety disorders as they appear in older adults, as compared with earlier in life. In this article, we focus on aging-related changes in the epidemiology, presentation, and treatment of anxiety disorders. Also, this article describes some of the gaps and limitations in our understanding and suggests research directions that may elucidate the mechanisms of anxiety disorder development later in life. Finally, we describe optimal management of anxiety disorders across the lifespan, in "eight simple steps" for practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-399
Number of pages19
JournalDialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Antidepressant
  • Anxiety
  • Cortisol
  • Diagnosis
  • Elderly
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychotherapy


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