[MRI for brain structure and function in patients with first-episode panic disorder]

Yan Zhang, Lian Duan, Mei Liao, Fan Yang, Jun Liu, Baoci Shan, Lingjiang Li
Zhong Nan da Xue Xue Bao. Yi Xue Ban, Journal of Central South University. Medical Sciences 2011, 36 (12): 1170-5

OBJECTIVE: To determine the brain function and structure in patinets with first-episode panic disorder (PD).

METHODS: All subjects (24 PD patients and 24 healthy subjects) received MRI scan and emotional counting Stroop task during the functional magnetic resonance imaging. Blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometric technology were used to detect the gray matter volume.

RESULTS: Compared with the healthy controls, left thalamus, left medial frontal gyrus, left anterior cingulate gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus, left insula (panic-related words vs. neutral words) lacked activation in PD patients, but the over-activation were found in right brain stem, right occipital lobe/lingual gyrus in PD patients. Compared with the healthy controls, the gray matter volume in the PD patients significantly decreased in the left superior temporal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus, left medial occipital gyrus, dorsomedial nucleus of left thalamus and right anterior cingulate gyrus. There was no significantly increased gray matter volume in any brain area in PD patients.

CONCLUSION: PD patients have selective attentional bias in processing threatening information due to the depression and weakening of the frontal cingulated gyrus.

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