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July 1956

Anxiety and Performance Changes with Minimal Dose of Epinephrine

Author Affiliations

Chicago; Washington, D.C.; U.S.N.R.

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training (Drs. Basowitz, Korchin, and Oken) and the Department of Metabolism (Drs. Goldstein and Gussack), Michael Reese Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(1):98-105. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330250100015

Several investigators have demonstrated that an elevation in the level of circulating epinephrine accompanies psychological stress response and is associated with strong affective arousal.* It has also been commonly noted that a frequent consequence of epinephrine administered to man is anxiety and its physical accompaniments.4 Nevertheless, despite these suggestions of an intimate connection between epinephrine action and human anxiety, surprisingly few studies have sought to develop the relationship further. Particularly neglected has been an approach to this problem in the context of broader considerations of personality functioning an dpsychological defense.

The present report describes a pilot experiment within a larger program of studies concerned with the reciprocal implications of psychological stress and disease and the functional activity of various endocrine systems. Its aim was to explore whether prolonged intravenous epinephrine infusion at a low dose level reactivated habitual idiosyncratic anxiety patterns in normal persons. The effect on certain indices

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