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C. A Common Drug Can Reduce Common Irritability

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers have found that a common anti-depressant decreased irritability in healthy individuals. Victor Reuss, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, says although paroxetine, or Paxil produced positive personality changes, it's not a happy pill.

Reus: One of the fantasies that people sometimes have is that these are drugs that will make you feel euphoric, happy about life. In fact, we did not find any evidence that that was the case. What it did seem to do was to decrease levels of dissatisfaction, negative affect in experimental terms in individuals - to actually decrease people's level of irritability and hostility towards others.

Narrator: Reus and his colleagues wanted to prove a theory.

Reus: We were interested whether we could determine in fact that there is a specific relationship between a given neurotransmitter system and some specific aspects of personality and behavior and we think we've been able to demonstrate that.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.