Stress, Panic, and Central Serotonergic Inhibition

J. E. Hassell, P. S.M. Yamashita, Philip Johnson, H. Zangrossi, Anantha Shekhar, C. A. Lowry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Panic disorder (PD) is an anxiety disorder associated with the occurrence of panic attacks, which arise suddenly without warning. Panic disorder represents a serious psychiatric condition and it can induce complications related to the fear of having subsequent panic attacks and avoidance behaviors. Given its importance, many studies have been conducted to elucidate the circuitry involved in this disorder. Clinical and preclinical studies suggest that PD can be modulated by a specific network of brain structures controlling emotional behaviors and autonomic responses. Using animal models that allow measurement of responses related to behavioral and autonomic symptoms of panic attacks in humans, it has been shown that the neuromodulator serotonin plays an inhibitory role in control of panic attacks associated with PD. Understanding the pathways through which serotonergic systems modulate panic-like responses is key to understanding the biological basis of panic attacks and PD, and, consequently, to establishing novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Stress Series
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780128024232
ISBN (Print)9780128021750
StatePublished - Jan 13 2017


  • Basolateral amygdala
  • Escape
  • Hypothalamus
  • Panic attack
  • Panic disorder
  • Panicolytic
  • Periaqueductal gray
  • Raphe
  • Rostral ventrolateral medulla
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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