Document Detail

Serotonin and sensitivity to trauma-related exposure in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors-recovered posttraumatic stress disorder.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19268914     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are first-line treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Serotonergic (5HT) attenuation of stress sensitivity is postulated from SSRIs' effects in other anxiety disorders, and we studied this in PTSD. METHODS: Ten patients with PTSD fully recovered on SSRIs (Clinical Global Impression Scale-I 1 and 2) were enrolled in the study. Patients were tested on two occasions 1 week apart; in each session, they received a drink containing large neutral amino acids (LNAAs) either with (sham tryptophan depletion [STD], control) or without (acute tryptophan depletion [ATD]) tryptophan. At 5.5 hours after the drink, subjects were exposed to a trauma-related exposure challenge. Self-reports of PTSD (visual analogue scales [VAS] and the Davidson Trauma Scale [DTS]), anxiety (Spielberger State Inventory [STAI] Form Y-1), and mood (Profile of Mood States [POMS]) were obtained. Heart rate (HR), systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure were also measured. RESULTS: The trauma-related exposure challenge induced anxiety on both days, with more marked responses on the ATD day according to VAS, DTS, POMS, and DBP (p < .05). A trend of significance (.1 > p > .05) was observed for STAI Form Y-1, HR, and SBP. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that ATD accentuates responses to trauma-related stimuli in SSRI-recovered PTSD. They also suggest that SSRI-induced increases in serotonin function restrain PTSD symptoms, especially under provocation, supporting a role for serotonin in mediating stress resilience.
Felipe Corchs; David J Nutt; Sean Hood; Marcio Bernik
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2009-03-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biological psychiatry     Volume:  66     ISSN:  1873-2402     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-15     Completed Date:  2009-08-31     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213264     Medline TA:  Biol Psychiatry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  17-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Anxiety Disorders Unit, Department and Institute of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Anxiety Disorders / blood*,  etiology*
Blood Pressure / drug effects
Cross-Over Studies
Double-Blind Method
Food, Fortified
Heart Rate / drug effects
Pain Measurement
Serotonin / metabolism*
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
Severity of Illness Index
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / blood*,  complications,  drug therapy*
Time Factors
Tryptophan / blood
Young Adult
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors; 50-67-9/Serotonin; 73-22-3/Tryptophan

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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