Does 5-HT have a role in anxiety and the action of anxiolytics?

Michael G. Palfreyman and John H. Kehne

in 5-Hydroxytryptamine in Psychiatry

Published in print February 1991 | ISBN: 9780192620118
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724725 | DOI:
Does 5-HT have a role in anxiety and the action of anxiolytics?

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In the quest for better treatments for anxiety it is essential first to ask, what is the anxiety syndrome one is trying to treat? Anxiety is a perfectly normal response to a stressful situation, such as speaking in public. The somatic manifestations of this ‘situational’ anxiety are well controlled with /3-adrenoceptor blockers, such as propranolol. However, this form of anxiety is rarely incapacitating and obviously is self limiting. Anxiety disorders are so severe and prolonged that they can become incapacitating. Anxiety, as the symptom, appears associated with a number of different affective disorders, and each syndrome may respond to different pharmacological treatments. Anxiety associated with generalized anxiety disorder responds well to benzodiazepines whereas anxiety associated with depression responds poorly.

Keywords: somatic manifestation; 3-adrenoceptor blockers; propranolol; benzodiazepines; posttraumatic stress

Chapter.  9521 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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