Researchers at the University of Bonn claim that genes and neurotransmitters cause social anxiety disorder. It was considered that psychological and environmental factors cause social anxiety, and now scientists say that social anxiety disorder (SAD) has genetic roots. They have found evidence that a gene encodes a serotonin transporter in the brain, and it is responsible for the illness. Social anxiety significantly impairs social interaction. Experts suggest that biological factors primarily influence the condition.

Association of genes with SAD

Stefanie Rambau, a professor at the University of Bonn, suggests that a particular genetic makeup is linked to SAD. The genetic components of the illness are present in around 30% of citizens of the US. Victims of the disease have an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. They don’t like being observed, judged, and criticized, and live in isolation. Rambau says that specific genes cause SAD, and the disease is curable. If you have SAD, there could be an imbalance of specific chemicals in your brain. These chemicals are known as neurotransmitters. The human brain uses neurotransmitters to send and receive signals. Stefanie claims that four types of neurotransmitters play an important role in SAD, including norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Brain structure and the illness

Rambau conducted an experiment to prove her point. She used a technique called neuroimaging to create a picture of the brain. She looked for differences in blood flow in specific areas of the brain. She says that the brain stem, limbic system, prefrontal cortex, and motor cortex, are collectively responsible for SAD.

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Her experiment proves that people with SAD have an increased blood flow in their amygdala. Rambau will conduct several experiments to evaluate how the brain chemicals relate to SAD. She explains that people with SAD show signs of abnormal heartbeat, trembling, and shortness of breath. Together with other experts at the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Stefanie will conduct an experiment on the genetic causes of social phobia and other diseases. She reveals that single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) also causes Mental Disorders. She will conduct an experiment on 24 SNPs that cause various mental disorders.