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Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Mar;157(3):457-9.

Low dopamine D(2) receptor binding potential in social phobia.

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  • 1Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Brain Imaging Division, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York 10032, USA.



This study compared dopamine D(2) receptor binding potential in patients with social phobia and healthy comparison subjects.


Dopamine D(2) receptor binding potential was assessed in 10 unmedicated subjects with generalized social phobia and no significant lifetime psychiatric comorbidity and 10 healthy comparison subjects matched for age and sex. Binding potential was measured in the striatum by using single photon emission computerized tomography and constant infusion of the D(2) receptor radiotracer [(123)I]iodobenzamide ([(123)I]IBZM).


Mean D(2) receptor binding potential was significantly lower in the subjects with social phobia than in the comparison subjects. Within the social phobia group, there was a nonsignificant correlation of binding potential with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale score.


Generalized social phobia may be associated with low binding of [(123)I]IBZM to D(2) receptors in the striatum.

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