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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1985 Mar;8(1):133-44.

Psychobiology of anxiety and anxiety disorders.


New techniques for studying receptor pharmacology, neurotransmitter activity, and neuroendocrine function in affective illness have made it possible to carry out sophisticated neurochemical and neuropharmacologic investigations of the anxiety disorders. Some important reasons for pursuing these strategies have been the high frequency of depression in anxious patients, the effectiveness of antidepressants in the treatment of panic disorder, and the availability of probes for studying the physiologic changes that occur during anxiety states in human subjects. In addition, the ability reliably to induce anxiety states in man has made it possible to study at least some clinical forms of anxiety under laboratory conditions. Although animal models for simple phobia have been developed, there are currently no adequate animal models of panic disorder in man. If valid, reliable animal models, for panic disorder and other human anxiety disorders can also be identified, then a much better understanding of the nature and causes of anxiety and more effective diagnosis and treatment of clinically important anxiety disorders may be possible.

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