Research Article| Volume 32, ISSUE 11, P1004-1011, December 01, 1992

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Dopaminergic function in panic disorder: Comparison with major and minor depression

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      Several lines of evidence suggest that dopamine might be involved in anxiety states. In this study, we assessed the growth hormone (GH) response to apomorphine (a dopaminergic agonist) 0.5 mg SC in mine drug-free inpatients meeting Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) for panic disorder who were age-matched and gender-matched with nine major depressive, and nine minor depressive inpatients. The three groups differed significantly in their mean GH peak response: 5.29 ± 2.75 ng/ml in major depressives, 26.27 ± 12.71 ng/ml in minor depressives, and 37.28 ± 10.58 ng/ml in panics, with a significantly higher response in panic than in either minor or major depressive patients. These results support dopaminergic overactivity in panic disorder as compared with major and minor depression.
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