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J Psychopharmacol. 2010 May;24(5):633-8. doi: 10.1177/0269881109103800. Epub 2009 Apr 3.

Anxiety--bridging the heart/mind divide.

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Psychopharmacology Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


Although the complimentary roles of heart and brain in anxiety have been recognised for centuries, the precise contribution of each and more importantly perhaps their interplay has proved difficult to describe. Recent data from human brain imaging and cardiovascular physiology studies are beginning to delineate the mechanistic pathways of anxiety disorders in general and panic in particular. Evidence for a dysfunction of brain gamma-amino butyric acid-A and serotonin (5HT) systems in both panic and cardiovascular regulation is reviewed along with new evidence for altered sympathetic nervous system activity in the heart and periphery. Testable hypotheses and research ideas are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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