Background: Panic disorder (PD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent panic attacks whose aetiology might be associated with alterations of the prefrontal-amygdala circuitry. The prefrontal cortex is a key region involved in executive functioning (EF) whose disturbance may imply harsh consequences over personal, social, and working aspects of PD patients. Indeed, defining the real involvement of EF in PD could lead to early assessment, better treatment, and rehabilitation options. These could have a substantial impact on the quality of life of these patients and their caregivers, thus reducing long-term health care needs. Methods: We reviewed findings from different studies that investigated executive functioning in PD patients using standardized neuropsychological measures. The review was conducted with the Preferred Reported Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). In addition, peer-reviewed human-based research articles were selected and twelve studies were retrieved through a search on PubMed. Four uniquely focused on PD patients, two also included a sample of first-degree relatives, while six included a mixed sample of different psychiatric illnesses, including PD. Results: The majority of the studies found no alterations in PD patients, suggesting that EF might not be a core deficit in this disorder. However, some studies (N = 4) found EF deficits in selective domains, which included attention and set-shifting processes, cognitive flexibility, decision-making abilities, and working memory in PD patients and/or in their first-degree relatives. Limitations: Unbalanced and small samples, unmonitored therapies, and the heterogeneity of cognitive and diagnostic assessment measures might have limited the generalizability of the results. Conclusions: Overall, the results point towards the hypothesis that PD patients had preserved EF. However, future studies with standardized methodological procedures and with a gold standard assessment of EF will be required to finally exclude its involvement in the disease.

Executive Functions in panic disorder : a mini-review / S. Giomi, F. Siri, A. Ferro, C. Moltrasio, M. Ariyo, G. Delvecchio, P. Brambilla. - In: JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS. - ISSN 0165-0327. - 288(2021), pp. 107-113. [10.1016/j.jad.2021.03.084]

Executive Functions in panic disorder : a mini-review

A. Ferro;G. Delvecchio
;
P. Brambilla
2021

Abstract

Background: Panic disorder (PD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent panic attacks whose aetiology might be associated with alterations of the prefrontal-amygdala circuitry. The prefrontal cortex is a key region involved in executive functioning (EF) whose disturbance may imply harsh consequences over personal, social, and working aspects of PD patients. Indeed, defining the real involvement of EF in PD could lead to early assessment, better treatment, and rehabilitation options. These could have a substantial impact on the quality of life of these patients and their caregivers, thus reducing long-term health care needs. Methods: We reviewed findings from different studies that investigated executive functioning in PD patients using standardized neuropsychological measures. The review was conducted with the Preferred Reported Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). In addition, peer-reviewed human-based research articles were selected and twelve studies were retrieved through a search on PubMed. Four uniquely focused on PD patients, two also included a sample of first-degree relatives, while six included a mixed sample of different psychiatric illnesses, including PD. Results: The majority of the studies found no alterations in PD patients, suggesting that EF might not be a core deficit in this disorder. However, some studies (N = 4) found EF deficits in selective domains, which included attention and set-shifting processes, cognitive flexibility, decision-making abilities, and working memory in PD patients and/or in their first-degree relatives. Limitations: Unbalanced and small samples, unmonitored therapies, and the heterogeneity of cognitive and diagnostic assessment measures might have limited the generalizability of the results. Conclusions: Overall, the results point towards the hypothesis that PD patients had preserved EF. However, future studies with standardized methodological procedures and with a gold standard assessment of EF will be required to finally exclude its involvement in the disease.
Cognition; Executive functions; Neuropsychological measures; Panic disorder
Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/834319
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