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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Therapeutic indications for serotonin-potentiating compounds: a hypothesis.

The original antidepressants, tricyclics and MAO inhibitors, increase the availability in the brain of both 5-HT and NA. Prompted by clinical findings suggestive of 5-HT disturbances in depression, drugs were developed that increase 5-HT selectively. Data are presented that suggest that broad-spectrum compounds may provide better conditions for antidepressant effects than the 5-HT-selective ones. The hypothesis is proposed that 5-HT potentiators are partial antidepressants, in that they predominantly reduce the anxiety/aggressive component of the depressive syndrome, and deserve to be tested in conditions with heightened anxiety and/or aggression irrespective of the nosological diagnosis. Tentative evidence relates diminished 5-HT metabolism to disordered impulse control. Based on these data, trials of 5-HT potentiators in impulse control disorders unrelated to aggressive drives seem warranted.[1]


  1. Therapeutic indications for serotonin-potentiating compounds: a hypothesis. van Praag, H.M., Kahn, R., Asnis, G.M., Lemus, C.Z., Brown, S.L. Biol. Psychiatry (1987) [Pubmed]
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