Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
https://trends.org.br/article/doi/10.1590/2237-6089-2013-0012
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Review Article

Electroencephalographic findings in panic disorder

Achados eletroencefalograficos no transtorno do panico

Marcele Regine de Carvalho; Bruna Brandao Velasques; Mauricio Cagy; Juliana Bittencourt Marques; Silmar Teixeira; Antonio Egidio Nardi; Roberto Piedade; Pedro Ribeiro

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Abstract

Some studies have reported the importance of electroencephalography (EEG) as a method for investigating abnormal parameters in psychiatric disorders. Different findings in time and frequency domain analysis with regard to central nervous system arousal during acute panic states have already been obtained. This study aimed to systematically review the EEG findings in panic disorder (PD), discuss them having a currently accepted neuroanatomical hypothesis for this pathology as a basis, and identify limitations in the selected studies. Literature search was conducted in the databases PubMed and ISI Web of Knowledge, using the keywords electroencephalography and panic disorder; 16 articles were selected. Despite the inconsistency of EEG findings in PD, the major conclusions about the absolute power of alpha and beta bands point to a decreased alpha power, while beta power tends to increase. Different asymmetry patterns were found between studies. Coherence studies pointed to a lower degree of inter-hemispheric functional connectivity at the frontal region and intra-hemispheric at the bilateral temporal region. Studies on possible related events showed changes in memory processing in PD patients when exposed to aversive stimuli. It was noticed that most findings reflect the current neurobiological hypothesis of PD, where inhibitory deficits of the prefrontal cortex related to the modulation of amygdala activity, and the subsequent activation of subcortical regions, may be responsible to trigger anxiety responses. We approached some important issues that need to be considered in further researches, especially the use of different methods for analyzing EEG signals. Keywords: Electroencephalography, panic disorder, neurobiology, brain mapping.

Keywords

Electroencephalography, panic disorder, neurobiology, brain mapping

Resumo

Alguns estudos relataram a importância da eletroencefalografia (EEG) como método de investigação de parâmetros anormais em transtornos psiquiátricos. Achados diferentes na análise do domínio do tempo e da frequência em relação à excitabilidade do sistema nervoso central durante estados agudos de pânico já foram obtidos. O objetivo deste estudo foi revisar sistematicamente os achados de EEG no transtorno do pânico (TP), discuti-los com base em uma hipótese neuroanatômica atualmente aceita para essa patologia e identificar limitações nos estudos selecionados. A pesquisa bibliográfica foi realizada nas bases de dados PubMed e ISI Web of Knowledge, utilizando as palavras-chave eletroencefalografia e transtorno do pânico; 16 artigos foram selecionados. Apesar da inconsistência dos achados de EEG no TP, as principais conclusões sobre a potência absoluta das bandas alfa e beta apontam para uma diminuição da potência em alfa, enquanto em beta a potência tende a aumentar. Diferentes padrões de assimetria foram encontrados entre estudos. Os estudos de coerência apontaram para um menor grau de conectividade funcional inter-hemisférica na região frontal e intra-hemisférica na região temporal bilateral. Estudos de potenciais eventos relacionados demonstraram mudanças no processamento da memória em pacientes com TP quando expostos a estímulos aversivos. Notou-se que a maioria dos resultados reflete a atual hipótese neurobiológica do TP, nos quais déficits inibitórios do córtex pré-frontal em relação à modulação da atividade da amígdala, e a subsequente ativação de regiões subcorticais, podem ser responsáveis por desencadear respostas de ansiedade. Foram abordadas algumas questões importantes que precisam ser consideradas em futuras pesquisas, especialmente o uso de diferentes métodos de análise de sinais de EEG. Descritores: Eletroencefalografia, transtorno do pânico, neurobiologia, mapeamento encefálico.

Palavras-chave

Eletroencefalografia, transtorno do panico, neurobiologia, mapeamento encefalico

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