Joint hypermobility related to anxiety, also in animals

Joint hypermobility related to anxiety, also in animals

News from IMIM

Researchers from the UAB and the IMIM published in Scientific Reports the first evidence in a non-human species, the domestic dog, of a relation between joint hypermobility and excitability: dogs with more joint mobility and flexibility tend to have more anxiety problems. This may suggest a very ancient evolutionary link which could be a universal trait in all mammals.

The relation between collagen laxity and anxiety in humans is widely known, but this relation has never been observed before in other species. A team of researchers led by professors Jaume Fatjó and Antoni Bulbena from the Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine at the UAB, the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the UAB Affinity Foundation Chair in Animals and Health, analysed a set of 13 animal behaviour characteristics and hip joint mobility in a total of 5575 domestic dogs. The results point to an association between hip joint hypermobility and a brain activation linked to emotions in dogs, with similar results as to those observed in people.


Jonathan Bowen, Jaume Fatjó, James A. Serpell, Andrea Bulbena-Cabré, Eldin Leighton & Antoni Bulbena, First evidence for an association between joint hypermobility and excitability in a non-human species, the domestic dog, Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 8629 (2019)

More information:
IMIM website