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Br J Psychiatry. 2001 Nov;179:390-6.

New insights into the role of the GABA(A)-benzodiazepine receptor in psychiatric disorder.

Author information

  • 1Psychopharmacology Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK. david.j.nutt@bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the 40 years since the first benzodiazepine was brought into clinical use there has been a substantial growth in understanding the molecular basis of action of these drugs and the role of their receptors in disease states.

AIMS:

To present current knowledge about the role of the GABA(A)-benzodiazepine receptor in anxiety disorders, new insights into the molecular biology of the receptor complex and neuroimaging studies suggesting involvement of these receptors in disease states.

METHOD:

An overview of published literature, including some recent data.

RESULTS:

The molecular biology of this receptor is detailed. Molecular genetic studies suggesting involvement of the GABA(A)-benzodiazepine receptor in animal behaviour and learning are outlined; possible parallels with human psychopathology are discussed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Current insights into the role of the GABA(A)-benzodiazepine receptor in the action of benzodiazepines and as a factor in disease states, in both animals and humans, may lead to new, more sophisticated interventions at this receptor complex and potentially significant therapeutic gains.

PMID:
11689393
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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