Maybe It Is All In Your Head

Panic disorder is an incredibly intrusive ailment that can up-end one’s life. A recent study suggests it may result from abnormalities in the brain. From Panic Spells Are Traced to Chemical in the Brain:

People with panic disorder, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health, have drastic reductions of a type of serotonin receptor, called 5-HT1A, in three areas of the brain. The findings, reported last week in The Journal of Neuroscience, lend credence to the suspicion that serotonin dysfunction plays a role in the disorder.

“This provides evidence for what we’ve been telling patients all along,” said Dr. Dennis S. Charney, chief of the mood and anxiety disorders research program at the institutes and an author of the paper. “Panic disorder is due to a specific abnormality in the brain, not a weakness in character.”

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