Experimental tests of the 5-HT receptor imbalance theory of affective disturbance
Symptoms of anxiety and depression usually coexist. Scores on anxiety rating scales strongly predict scores on depression rating scales. Symptoms of anxiety predict symptoms of depression. Symptoms of anxiety may ante-date and outlast depressive symptoms, and depression may be a higher level of affective disturbance than anxiety. However, there is no antithesis between the two sets of symptoms. The same treatments are effective in both and the most effective is treatment with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) re-uptake-blocking antidepressants. It is therefore a very considerable paradox that excessive 5-HT neurotransmission has been associated with symptoms of anxiety whereas deficient 5-HT function has been associated with depressive illness.
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