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Panic Disorder Brain Science
Research into the neurobiology of panic disorder is focused on finding out what happens in the brain when a panic attack occurs, with the ultimate goal of developing more effective diagnostics and treatments. Genetic research, too, is looking for the root causes of the panic disorder so that, with a better understanding of the mechanism of the disorder, doctors will be better able to treat it.
Recent research into the nature of panic disorder includes:
- Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have been looking at a possible link between panic disorder and a particular gene. Previous studies have suggested that panic attacks are sometimes associated with a pH imbalance in the body, and the UC researchers are exploring the possibility that an acid-sensing gene (TDAG8) may play a role in creating such an imbalance.
- Imaging studies have found real physical differences in the way that the brains of people with panic disorder work. These studies have identified changes in the function of certain areas of the brain, including the amygdala and the midbrain, when patients are experiencing a panic attack as compared to when they are relaxed.
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