Plasma Levels of Neuroactive Steroids in Panic Disorder Patients and Healthy Volunteers Following Pentagastrin versus Placebo Injections

  • Author / Creator
    Al-Nuaimi, Saleem K
  • Panic disorder is an anxiety illness that can be quite debilitating and costly to society. To date there is no real cure for panic disorder and current methods of treatment are suboptimal. Given the level of morbidity and societal cost of panic disorder, further research and development of improved therapeutic strategies should be of immense benefit. Neuroactive steroids have been identified as potential biomarkers and therapeutic options in the treatment and management of a variety of mental disorders, including panic disorder. The use of panicogenic agents, such as pentagastrin, to induce a panic disorder has been validated as an appropriate model to study panic disorder. In an effort to better understand the role of neuroactive steroids in panic disorder, neuroactive steroid levels in both healthy volunteers and patients with panic disorder were measured at baseline and again at various time points after an injection of either placebo or pentagastrin. Differences in mean neuroactive steroid levels at baseline between healthy and panic disorder subjects were identified but did not reach statistical significance. Mean neuroactive steroid levels at baseline between males and females were found to be statistically significant. The largest difference was seen in ALLO but this did not reach statistical significance on its own. There was no statistically significant change in neuroactive steroid levels regardless of the injection type (placebo vs. pentagastrin), gender or diagnosis (healthy vs. panic disorder).

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.