Medicine: Onstage, No Great Shakes

A hypertension drug provides an Rx for performance anxiety

The mouth goes dry, the palms turn sweaty. The heart races, the knees crumple. The symptoms of stage fright are familiar to anyone who has ever given a speech or been in a school play. Arthur Rubinstein called it "the price I pay for my wonderful life." It prevented Singer Carly Simon from performing for five years, and, without fail, it reduces Actress Maureen Stapleton to pale green mush.

Yet all this misery might be avoided, according to Dr. Charles Brantigan, University of Colorado heart surgeon and part-time tuba player. In an experiment conducted...

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