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Psychosom Med. 2000 May-Jun;62(3):326-36.

Platelets and psychiatry: lessons learned from old and new studies.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0804, USA.


Platelets play an important role not only in hemostasis but also in the pathophysiology of coronary artery disease. The complex interactions among the vascular endothelium, platelets, and blood components are one of the most exciting research areas today. This review addresses some fundamentals of platelet physiology and examines why platelets are interesting probes for neurophysiology. Results of current studies suggest that platelets are affected by diverse stressors, including psychological ones, and that platelets offer an interesting vantage point for understanding the neurophysiology of various psychiatric disorders. We also describe how platelets have been used for various types of research, including studies of stress associated with cardiovascular disease and studies of platelets in psychopharmacological research. Finally, we examine some of the psychiatric literature related to platelets; these studies range from case studies from the 1920s to contemporary experimental studies.

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