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Relationship between Platelet Serotonin Uptake Sites and Measures of Impulsivity, Aggression, and Craving among African-American Cocaine Abusers

Authors

  • Ashwin A. Patkar M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Division of Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa. (Drs. Patkar, Gottheil, Hill, Thornton, and Weinstein)
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  • Edward Gottheil M.D., Ph.D.,

    1. The Division of Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa. (Drs. Patkar, Gottheil, Hill, Thornton, and Weinstein)
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  • Wade H. Berrettini M.D., Ph.D.,

    1. The Division of Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa. (Drs. Patkar, Gottheil, Hill, Thornton, and Weinstein)
    2. The Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. (Dr. Berrettini)
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  • Kevin P. Hill M.D.,

    1. The Division of Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa. (Drs. Patkar, Gottheil, Hill, Thornton, and Weinstein)
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  • Charles C. Thornton Ph.D.,

    1. The Division of Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa. (Drs. Patkar, Gottheil, Hill, Thornton, and Weinstein)
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  • Stephen P. Weinstein Ph.D.

    1. The Division of Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa. (Drs. Patkar, Gottheil, Hill, Thornton, and Weinstein)
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Address correspondence to Dr. Patkar, Thomas Jefferson University, 833 Chestnut Street East, Suite 210E, Philadelphia, PA 19107. E-mail: ashwin.patkar@mail.tju.edu.

Abstract

We investigated whether platelet-tritiated paroxetine binding, a measure of serotonin uptake sites, and behavioral measures of impulsivity, aggression, and craving differed between cocaine-dependent subjects and controls and whether paroxetine binding was related to these behavioral measures. One hundred and five African-American cocaine-dependent out-patients and 44 African-American controls were studied. Tritiated paroxetine binding sites on platelets were assayed, and standardized assessments of impulsivity, aggression, and craving were performed. The Bmax values of paroxetine binding were significantly reduced among cocaine patients compared to controls. Cocaine patients showed significantly higher scores on certain measures of sensation seeking, impulsivity, and aggression as compared to controls. Furthermore, paroxetine binding showed a significant negative correlation with most measures of sensation seeking, impulsivity, and aggression—though not craving—among cocaine patients. Our findings indicate that densities of serotonin uptake sites may be reduced among cocaine abusers and related to impulsive-aggressive behavioral dimensions.

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