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Biological and psychopharmacological aspects of impulse-control disorders

  • W.M.A. Verhoeven and S. Tuinier


Over the past decades extensive research has been performed on the presumed relationship between neurotransmitter functionality in the central nervous system and psychopathological states. Originally, in the mid-sixties it was hypothesized that depressive states may be associated with disorders in brain noradrenalin and/or serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) metabolism or function resulting in the socalled monoamine hypothesis of depression. Subsequent investigations revealed that altered 5-HT metabolism is not related to mood disorder per se, but to components of the depressive syndrome and more specifically to increased anxiety and/or signs of dysregulated aggression, including violent suicidal attempts.

Concerning aggression and other types of disruptive or impulsive behavior, research on their neurobiological determinants has been focussed mainly on indicators of central 5-HT function.


Corresponding author

Vincent van Gogh Institute for Psychiatry, Stationsweg 46, NL-5803 AC Venray, the Netherlands


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