Researchers from Yale, Duke and Vanderbilt universities looked at how the brains of children change over 60 months, and found durable changes in the brain's neurobiology, when the child suffered from anxiety disorders such as phobias, general anxiousness and separation anxiety.

The study, published on January 27, 2015 in Plos One, and titled "Preschool Anxiety Disorders Predict Different Patterns of Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity at School-Age", showed that such children had a weaker connection than average between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala in their brain Both these regions are known to play a role in anxiety relief.

Adults with anxiety are put through counselling, medication, and alternate therapies such as natural remedies for anxiety. The benefits of meditation, yoga and physical therapy have also been noted in the context of anxiety relief. So common is anxiety among adults, that a massive industry has been built around helping them cope with these issues.

During the study, children between two and five years of age were tested through psychiatric assessment, which examined their emotional behavior from their parents' perspective. When the children reached ages five to nine, they went through fMRI brain scans. Based on a comparison of scans to personality types, the researchers discovered that changes in the brain were correlated to the type of anxiety disorder.

“Five years ago, you would have had scientists saying, ‘[Changing brain connectivity is] not possible in adults … You’re not going to change their underlying brain biology,’” said Kevin Pelphrey, senior author and the co-director of the center for translational developmental neuroscience. “But I think neuroscientists are more and more surprised as to just how plastic the brain is all the way through adulthood.”