The noradrenergic system in pathological anxiety: a focus on panic with relevance to generalized anxiety and phobias

Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Nov 1;46(9):1205-18. doi: 10.1016/s0006-3223(99)00246-2.


Over the past three decades of psychiatric research, abnormalities in the noradrenergic system have been identified in particular anxiety disorders such as panic disorder. Simultaneously, neuroscience research on fear pathways and the stress response have delineated central functions for the noradrenergic system. This review focuses on the noradrenergic system in anxiety spectrum disorders such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias for the purpose of elucidating current conceptualizations of the pathophysiologies. Neuroanatomic pathways that are theoretically relevant in anxiogenesis are discussed and the implications for treatment reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / metabolism
  • Anxiety / metabolism
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy
  • Anxiety Disorders / metabolism
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Fear
  • Humans
  • Locus Coeruleus / metabolism
  • Nerve Net / metabolism*
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism*
  • Panic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use


  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Norepinephrine