Anxiety disorders are common and debilitating mental illnesses. Current pharmacological treatments are beset by problems of poor efficacy and side effect profiles. Increasing understanding of novel neurotransmitter systems and the interplay between these systems is broadening the scope of anxiolytic drug treatment. This article aims to describe the areas of current interest and possible future development of anxiolytic drugs by outlining recent patents in this field. A patent database was searched for 17 neurotransmitters and their synonyms as well as 23 compounds of recent known interest from May 2003 to May 2005. The internet resources Pubmed and Google Scholar were searched for peer reviewed literature using the same search parameters. Results were grouped into neurotransmitter systems to present an overview of recent developments in the neuropharmacology of anxiety disorders.
Keywords: Patent, anxiety, serotonin, GABA, glutamate, neuropeptide, cannabinoid, novel, CCK, CRF
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