Current findings of fMRI in panic disorder: contributions for the fear neurocircuitry and CBT effects

Expert Rev Neurother. 2010 Feb;10(2):291-303. doi: 10.1586/ern.09.161.


Thanks to brain imaging great advances have been made concerning the comprehension of neural substrates related to panic disorder (PD). This article aims to: review the recent functional MRI (fMRI) studies concerning PD; correlate the PD fMRI neurobiological findings with the fear neurocircuitry hypothesis; discuss the fear neurocircuitry hypothesis and link it to cognitive-behavior therapy findings; and comment on fMRI study limitations and suggest methodological changes for future research. As a whole, there is increasing evidence that brain structures such as the prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex and limbic areas (hippocampus and amygdala) might play a major role in the panic response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Panic Disorder / pathology*
  • Panic Disorder / physiopathology*