Initial white matter connectivity differences between remitters and non-remitters of patients with panic disorder after 6 months of pharmacotherapy

Neurosci Lett. 2021 Apr 23:751:135826. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2021.135826. Epub 2021 Mar 13.


Panic disorder (PD) is a harmful mental condition that causes relapsed and persistent impairment. In the treatment of PD, the prognosis for PD should be considered. However, the relationship between pharmacotherapy and biomarkers, for predicting a better response through neuroimaging, is a little known. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether there would be the initial white matter (WM) regions associated with the remission in 6 months. A total of 104 patients with PD were investigated in the study. After six months, there were 17 remission patients with PD and 81 non-remission patients. The Panic Disorder Severity Scale, Albany Panic and Phobia Questionnaire, Anxiety Sensitivity Inventory-Revised, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Beck Depression Inventory were assessed for all patients at baseline. We compared the diffusion indices between remission and non-remission group at 6 months using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics. The results showed that the fractional anisotropy (FA) values were significantly higher in the non-remitter group compared with those in the remitter group in the WM regions, such as the posterior corona radiata and superior longitudinal fasciculus, at the 6 month evaluation. The logistic regression analysis with clinical symptom severity and FA values of the WM regions as covariates showed that FA values in those regions and the Beck Depression Inventory-II predicted poor remission. This study suggests that posterior corona radiata and superior longitudinal fasciculus are related to potential predictive factors of 6-month remission in patients with PD. WM regions associated with the long-term remission should be verified with further investigations.

Keywords: Long-term outcome; Neuroimaging; Panic disorder; Remission; White matter connectivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use
  • Connectome*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / diagnostic imaging
  • Panic Disorder / drug therapy
  • Panic Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Remission Induction
  • Thalamus / diagnostic imaging
  • Thalamus / physiopathology
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging
  • White Matter / physiopathology*


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents