Etiology of anxious and fearful behavior in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN3 disease)

… During the terminal phase, the cognitive developmental age of JNCL patients is below 2 years. At this stage of mental development individuals act primarily from a concrete world of consciousness and do not have the cognitive ability to encounter a normal anxiety response. Instead, they experience the evolutionary basic emotion of fear, and as the episodes typically are provoked when the adolescent JNCL patient is exposed to either loud sounds, is lifted from the ground, or separated from the mother/known caregiver, the fear can best be perceived as the developmental natural fear-response that appears in children 0-2 years of age. The efferent pathways of the neural fear circuits are mediated through autonomic, neuroendocrine, and skeletal-motor responses. …

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