Neural correlates of negative and disease-specific emotional stimuli in panic disorder: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Fabiana L. Lopes, Clara G.F. Faria, Gisele P. Dias, Mariana B. Mallmann, Victoria Mendes, Natia Horato, Valfrido L. De-Melo-neto, Andre B. Veras, Fabio V. Magalhães, Dolores Malaspina, Antonio E. Nardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Decades of research have highlighted the involvement of the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulated cortex, and limbic areas (amygdala) in panic disorder (PD). However, little attention has been given specifically to the inferior frontal gyrus. The current study aimed to investigate the neural substrates, including the inferior frontal gyrus, of both panic-related and negative conditions among individuals with PD and healthy controls. Methods: We examined 13 medication-free PD patients and 14 healthy controls with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during exposure to negative and neutral pictures and a set of specific panic-related pictures. Results: Subtraction between the conditions indicated activation of the left amygdala region and the right inferior frontal gyrus in PD patients during the specific panic-related condition, whereas the left amygdalar region and left inferior frontal gyrus were activated during the negative condition in controls. Conclusion: These results suggest that in patients with PD, a prominent bottom-up process is involved in specific panic-related conditions, which might be associated with weak modulation of the left frontal area. These data add to our current understanding of the neural correlates of PD and can contribute to future clinical interventions targeting the functional reestablishment of these regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-612
Number of pages8
JournalRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • FMRI
  • Inferior frontal gyrus
  • Panic disorder

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