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Dialogues in clinical neuroscience

Experimental panic provocation in healthy man-a translational role in anti-panic drug development?


PMID 22275853

Abstract

Experimental neurochemical provocation of panic attacks in susceptible human subjects has considerably expanded our knowledge of the pathophysiology and psychopharmacology of panic disorder. Some panicogens also elicit short-lived panic-like states in healthy man. This offers the opportunity to assess the anti-panic action of drugs in proof-of-concept studies. However, from current data it is still unclear whether experimental panic in healthy man is a valid translational model. Most such studies in healthy volunteers have been performed using a cholecystokinin tetrapeptide (CCK-4) challenge. While CCK-4 panic was blocked by alprazolam pretreatment, escitalopram showed negative results in healthy man. Preliminary findings on novel investigational drugs and a few problematic results will be reviewed. Small sample sizes in many panic provocation studies, lack of dose-response aspects, and still-insufficient knowledge about the biological underpinning of experimental and spontaneous panic limit the interpretation of existing findings and should inspire further research.

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T6515
Cholecystokinin Fragment 30-33 Amide, ≥95% (HPLC)
C29H36N6O6S