US researchers have mapped out areas of brain that are responsible for anxiety in children paving way for early detection and treatments for at-risk kids.

To understand the mechanism triggering anxiety, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health scanned the brains of 238 young rhesus monkeys.

After analysing the data, they concluded that the brain regions called the amygdala and the anterior hippocampus are responsible for anxious temperament as they found increased activity in these areas when stimulated.

"Children with anxious temperaments suffer from extreme shyness, persistent worry and increased bodily responses to stress. It has long been known that these children are at increased risk of developing anxiety, depression and associated substance abuse disorders,” says Ned. H. Kalin, chair of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, who led the study.

"We believe that young children who have higher activity in these brain regions are more likely to develop anxiety and depression as adolescents and adults, and are also more likely to develop drug and alcohol problems in an attempt to treat their distress," he said commenting on the findings published in the Aug. 12 issue of Nature.

According to him, the new findings may help developing new treatment modalities to help prevent children from getting full-blown anxiety.

"My feeling is that the earlier we intervene with children, the more likely they will be able to lead a happy life in which they aren't as controlled by anxiety and depression. We think we can train vulnerable kids to settle their brains down," Kalin said in a university news release.

Earlier research conducted by Kalin had found that anxious young monkeys are similar to anxious children.