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Open Access Perspective

How research on the meta-structure of psychopathology aids in understanding biological correlates of mood and anxiety disorders

Shani Ofrat* and Robert F Krueger

Author Affiliations

University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN, USA

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Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2012, 2:13  doi:10.1186/2045-5380-2-13

Published: 16 August 2012

Abstract

Research on biological correlates of psychopathology stands to benefit from being interwoven with an empirically based, quantitative model of mental disorders. Empirically-based classification approaches help to deal effectively with issues such as comorbidity among diagnoses, which often serve as challenges to interpreting research on biological correlates. With regard to the mood and anxiety disorders specifically, quantitative research shows how mood and anxiety disorders are well conceptualized as elements within a broad internalizing spectrum of psychopathology, such that many putative biological correlates of specific disorders may be better conceptualized as delineating the pathophysiology of the broader mechanisms underlying multiple disorders.

Keywords:
Meta-structure; Comorbidity; Biological correlates; DSM-5