News and Research
Brain Acidity and Panic and Depression
Recent studies suggest that changes in the brain, particularly increased acidity, or low pH, is linked to panic disorders, anxiety, and depression. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), May 22, 2012 vol. 109 no. 21 8270-8273) Read more.
Panic Attacks and Triathlon Deaths
It’s common for people to have panic attacks during the swim leg of triathlons, according to a David Brown, a physician Washington Post journalist, and triathlete. He hypothesizes that panic attacks may be the reason. Read more.
Panic Attacks Send Signals for One Hour
New research reveals that signs of panic attacks that seem to strike suddenly occur at least 60 minutes before patients' awareness. (Biological Psychiatry, published online 25 July 2011) Read more.
Stressful Events Cause Panic Symptoms to Increase Over Time
Researchers at Brown University have found that some stressful life events cause panic symptoms to increase gradually over time, rather than to trigger an immediate panic attack. (Journal of Affective Disorders, published online June 11) Read more.
Regular Exercise in Treatment Strategy for Panic Disorder
A high level of exercise may be a useful strategy to prevent the development of panic and related disorders among people with high anxiety sensitivity, particularly as an alternative or complementary strategy to drugs and psychotherapy. (Psychosomatic Medicine, July 2011 vol. 73 no. 6 498-503) Read more.
Breathing Treatment Reduces Panic
A new treatment program teaches people who suffer from panic disorder how to reduce their symptoms by breathing in such as way as to reverse hyperventilation. A new study claims the technique has proved better than traditional cognitive therapy at reducing symptoms of panic as well as hyperventilation. (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, October 2010; 78(5): 691–704) Read more.
Drug Reduces Increase of Fear
A traumatic experience favors the persistence of fear associated with an aversive stimulus, known as fear conditioning. Scientists have suppressed that effect in mice with a single dose of 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone, a drug that boosts the ability to acquire new emotional behaviors. The drug could be used as an effective treatment of PTSD, panic, and phobia disorders in humans. (American Journal of Psychiatry, published online December 1, 2010) Read more.
Two Anxiety Disorders Common With Narcolepsy
People who have narcolepsy are highly susceptible to social anxiety and panic attacks, but appropriate types of treatment have not been identified. (General Hospital Psychiatry, 2010; 32(1): 49-56) Read more.
Panic Disorder in the Emergency Room
Reports show that 17% to 32% of patients who visit an emergency room with chest pain have panic disorder, but usually the disorder remains unidentified there. A study suggests that the relatively low detection rate calls for tools to help physicians and nurses identify panic disorder efficiently. (Psychiatry Weekly, March 8, 2010; 5(5): published online)
Panic Triggered by CO2
A study at the University of Iowa shows that breathing carbon dioxide increases brain acidity that activates a protein with a significant role in fear and anxiety behavior. The study offers an understanding of the biological basis of panic and anxiety disorders, suggesting new approaches for treatment. (Cell, November 2009; 139(5):1012-1021)
Uncertainty Fuels Anxiety
The central finding of a new brain scan study is that uncertainty makes a bad event feel even worse. A new study shows that neural responses in the insula and amygdala are much stronger to negative stimuli when the event is preceded by uncertainty. (Cerebral Cortex, published online August 13, 2009)
SLE (Lupus) Patients Prone to Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety and mood disorders are more common in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) than in the general population, according to results of a new study. Researchers found that panic disorder, specific phobia, OCD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar I disorder were significantly more common among SLE subjects than among other white women. In contrast, generalized anxiety disorder and dysthymic disorder were significantly less common in this population. (Arthritis and Rheumatism, June 2009; 61:822-829)
Trial Shows Kava Safe in Treating Anxiety
The results of a clinical trial at the University of Queensland in Australia show that a water-soluble extract of kava, a medicinal plant from the South Pacific, is safe and effective in treating some anxiety and depressive disorders. Prescribed in tablet form, kava was also found to have had a positive impact on reducing depression levels, which had not been tested before. (Psychopharmacology, published online May 9, 2009)
Panic Attacks Not Necessarily Linked to PTSD
A new research study dispels the previously accepted notion about panic attacks—that one immediately following a traumatic event would trigger or predict PTSD.
Several Sessions of Exposure Therapy Needed for Effective Treatment of Anxiety
Patients with anxiety disorders treated with exposure therapy achieve better outcomes when treated with multiple exposure sessions, which suggests an accumulated effect of this type of therapy for anxiety, according to research.