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Anxiety is a complex phenomenon that can represent contextually different experiences to individuals. The experimental modelling in healthy volunteers of clinical anxiety experienced by patients is challenging. Furthermore, defining when and why anxiety (which is adaptive) becomes an anxiety disorder (and hence maladaptive) is the subject of much of the published literature. Observations from animal studies can be helpful in deriving mechanistic models, but gathering evidence from patients and reverse translating this to healthy volunteers and thence back to laboratory models is a more powerful approach and is likely to more closely model the clinical disorder. Thus the development and validation of a robust healthy volunteer model of anxiety may help to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinic and provide 'proof of concept' in screening for novel drug treatments. This review considers these concepts and outlines evidence from a validated healthy volunteer model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) following the inhalation of 7.5% CO(2).

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychopharmacol

Publication Date





1192 - 1198


Administration, Inhalation, Animals, Anti-Anxiety Agents, Anxiety Disorders, Carbon Dioxide, Drug Design, Healthy Volunteers, Human Experimentation, Humans, Translational Medical Research, Validation Studies as Topic