Neurochemical Basis of Anxiety

Neurochemical modulators exist at every level within the complex neurocircuitry described above, providing a large number of potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of anxiety. Despite the variations in clinical presentation of the various anxiety disorders, extensive preclinical studies have provided significant evidence for the role of multiple neurochemical systems in the etiology of anxiety, in general, with a significant amount of overlap between the individual disorders themselves. The major neuromodulators and neuromodulatory systems that have been implicated both through preclinical and clinical studies include the monoamines (5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT), norepinephrine (NE), and dopamine), corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), g-amino-butyric acid (GABA), glutamate, neuropeptides (substance P, neuropeptide Y galanin), cholecystokinin, and neurotrophic factors.20

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