||Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a serious and prevalent psychiatric condition, with a heritable component. However, little is known about the characteristics that are associated with the genetic component of SAD, the so-called "endophenotypes". These endophenotypes could advance our insight in the genetic susceptibility to SAD, as they are on the pathway from genotype to phenotype. The Leiden Family Lab study on Social Anxiety Disorder (LFLSAD) is the first multiplex, multigenerational study aimed to identify neurocognitive endophenotypes of social anxiety.
The LFLSAD is characterized by a multidisciplinary approach and encompasses a variety of measurements, including a clinical interview, functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging and an electroencephalography experiment. Participants are family members from 2 generations, from families genetically enriched for SAD.
The sample (n = 132 participants, from 9 families) was characterized by a high prevalence of SAD, in both generations (prevalence (sub)clinical SAD: 38.3%). Furthermore, (sub)clinical SAD was positively related to self-reported social anxiety, fear of negative evaluation, trait anxiety, behavioral inhibition, negative affect, and the level of depressive symptoms.
By the multidimensional character of the measurements and thorough characterization of the sample, the LFLSAD offers unique opportunities to investigate candidate neurocognitive endophenotypes of SAD.