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Improved Thinking with Propranolol when under Stress

December 17th, 2005

Improved Thinking with Propranolol when under Stress


Propranolol is commonly prescribed to treat a variety of disorders including high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, migraines, and panic attacks.  Two studies show that stress declines thinking and Propranolol helps to counter the effects.

The first study by Ohio State University Medical Center had volunteers watch two different types of movies, a war movie (Saving Private Ryan) and a comedy (Shrek).  After viewing the movies they were asked to do a series of problem solving tests.  The tests questions related to the war movie were much worse than with the comedy movie.  The researchers believe that these findings will eventually help in improvements for people with anxiety disorders and substance abuse problems.

The second study discovered that Propranolol in healthy people without any history of anxiety disorder was beneficial in stressful situations. 


The Propranolol blocked the norepinephrine, which is stress hormone that is released when you are feeling under pressure.

"Essentially, we propose that this state of arousal resulting from stress inhibits a person's ability to access mental resources to solve problems in a flexible manner under stressful circumstances, and that a specific system in the brain may be responsible for that effect," said in a statement by neurologist David Beversdorf, senior author of the studies.


By limiting the stress hormones a person is able to think more clearly.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


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