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Author: Andre Wittmann (16)


Jan
2018

Anticipatory anxiety and harm avoidance are essential features of panic disorder (PD) and may involve deficits in the reward system of the brain, in particular in the ventral striatum. While neuroimaging studies on PD have focused on fearful and negative affective stimulus processing, no investigations have directly addressed deficits in reward and loss anticipation. To determine whether the ventral striatum shows abnormal neural activity in PD patients during anticipation of loss or gain, an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment using a monetary incentive delay task was employed in 10 patients with PD and 10 healthy controls.

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Dec
1969

The approach to apply multivariate pattern analyses based on neuro imaging data for outcome prediction holds out the prospect to improve therapeutic decisions in mental disorders. Patients suffering from panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/AG) often exhibit an increased perception of bodily sensations. The purpose of this investigation was to assess whether multivariate classification applied to a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) interoception paradigm can predict individual responses to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in PD/AG.

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Dec
1969

Studying psychiatric disorders across nosological boundaries aims at a better understanding of mental disorders by identifying comprehensive signatures of core symptoms. Here, we studied neurobiological correlates of emotion processing in several major psychiatric disorders. We assessed differences between diagnostic groups, and investigated whether there is a psychopathological correlate of emotion processing that transcends disorder categories.

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Dec
1969

Individuals with high anxiety sensitivity (AS) have an increased risk of developing anxiety disorders and are more biased in how they process fear-related stimuli. This study investigates the neural correlates of fear-related words and word associations in high- and low-AS individuals. We used a semantic priming paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging in which three types of target words (fear symptoms, e.

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Mar
2016

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and pharmacological treatment with selective serotonin or serotonin-noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI/SSNRI) are regarded as efficacious treatments for panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/AG). However, little is known about treatment-specific effects on symptoms and neurofunctional correlates.
We used a comparative design with PD/AG patients receiving either two types of CBT (therapist-guided (n=29) or non-guided exposure (n=22)) or pharmacological treatment (SSRI/SSNRI; n=28) as well as a wait-list control group (WL; n=15) to investigate differential treatment effects in general aspects of fear and depression (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale HAM-A and Beck Depression Inventory BDI), disorder-specific symptoms (Mobility Inventory MI, Panic and Agoraphobia Scale subscale panic attacks PAS-panic, Anxiety Sensitivity Index ASI, rating of agoraphobic stimuli) and neurofunctional substrates during symptom provocation (Westphal-Paradigm) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

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Sep
2015

Depression is frequent in panic disorder (PD); yet, little is known about its influence on the neural substrates of PD. Difficulties in fear inhibition during safety signal processing have been reported as a pathophysiological feature of PD that is attenuated by depression. We investigated the impact of comorbid depression in PD with agoraphobia (AG) on the neural correlates of fear conditioning and the potential of machine learning to predict comorbidity status on the individual patient level based on neural characteristics.

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Jan
2015

Although neuroimaging research has made substantial progress in identifying the large-scale neural substrate of anxiety disorders, its value for clinical application lags behind expectations. Machine-learning approaches have predictive potential for individual-patient prognostic purposes and might thus aid translational efforts in psychiatric research.
To predict treatment response to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on an individual-patient level based on functional magnetic resonance imaging data in patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/AG).

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Jan
2015

Variation in the 5'-flanking promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4, the 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has been inconclusively associated with response to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). As genomic functions are stronger related to neural than to behavioural markers, we investigated the association of treatment response, 5-HTTLPR and functional brain connectivity in patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/AG). Within the national research network PANIC-NET 231 PD/AG patients who provided genetic information underwent a manualized exposure-based CBT.

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Dec
1969

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/AG). It is unknown, how variants of CBT differentially modulate brain networks involved in PD/AG. This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of therapist-guided (T+) versus self-guided (T-) exposure on the neural correlates of fear conditioning in PD/AG.

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Nov
2013

Although exposure-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment option for panic disorder with agoraphobia, the neural substrates of treatment response remain unknown. Evidence suggests that panic disorder with agoraphobia is characterized by dysfunctional safety signal processing. Using fear conditioning as a neurofunctional probe, the authors investigated neural baseline characteristics and neuroplastic changes after CBT that were associated with treatment outcome in patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia.

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Jan
2013

Learning by conditioning is a key ability of animals and humans for acquiring novel behavior necessary for survival in a changing environment. Aberrant conditioning has been considered a crucial factor in the etiology and maintenance of panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/A). Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for PD/A.

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Dec
1969

The validity of experimentally induced panic attacks as a model to study the pathophysiology of panic disorder has been questioned. Unspecific, unpleasant and aversive effects as well as specific patterns of psychovegetative symptoms pointing to different subtypes of panic disorder patients have been observed. These findings raise the question of challenge paradigms as a valuable tool to identify different vulnerabilities in patients with panic disorder.

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Jul
2011

Although functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has gained increasing importance in investigating neural substrates of anxiety disorders, less is known about the stress eliciting properties of the scanner environment itself. The aim of the study was to investigate feasibility, self-reported distress and anxiety management strategies during an fMRI experiment in a comprehensive sample of patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia (PD/AG). Within the national research network PANIC-NET, n=89 patients and n=90 controls participated in a multicenter fMRI study.

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May
2010

Self-referential processing involves a complex set of cognitive functions, posing challenges to delineating its independent neural correlates. While self-referential processing has been considered functionally intertwined with episodic memory, the present study explores their overlap and dissociability. Standard tasks for self-referential processing and episodic memory were combined into a single fMRI experiment.

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Apr
2010

The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in depression and anxiety. Antidepressants and exercise increase BDNF expression, and both have an antidepressant and anxiolytic activity. To further characterize the association of anxiety, BDNF and exercise, we studied panic disorder patients (n=12) and individually matched healthy control subjects (n=12) in a standardized exercise paradigm.

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Aug
2009

Regular physical activity is anxiolytic in both healthy subjects and patients with panic disorder. In contrast, acute exercise may induce acute panic attacks or increase subjective anxiety in patients with panic disorder more than in other people. The effects of quiet rest or an aerobic treadmill exercise (30 min at an intensity of 70% of the maximal oxygen uptake, VO2max) on cholecystokinin tetrapeptide (CCK-4) induced panic attacks were studied in a crossover design in 12 patients with panic disorder and 12 matched healthy subjects.

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