Impact of state and trait anxiety on the panic response to CCK-4

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany.
Journal of Neural Transmission (Impact Factor: 2.4). 07/2008; 115(6):917-20. DOI: 10.1007/s00702-008-0047-2
Source: PubMed


In order to elucidate the impact of psychological factors on panic severity the correlation between baseline anxiety and panic response to cholecystokinin-tetrapeptide (CCK-4), an established model of human anxiety, was investigated in 33 healthy volunteers. Baseline anxiety was assessed with the State-Trait-Anxiety-Inventory (STAI). Trait and state anxiety did not differ between panickers and nonpanickers nor were they correlated with panic severity. In conclusion, psychological factors are not major determinants for the subjective panic response to CCK-4 thus emphasising the importance of neurobiological factors.

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    • "This finding indicates that the experience of CCK-4 induced fear might be related to the extent of amygdala activation and emphasizes its role in fear and anxiety.9 Furthermore, CCK-4 models of panic disorder not only serve to uncover the functional neuroanatomy of panic attacks but can also point to putative genomic risk factors for anxiety,22 the influence of personality factors on proneness to anxiety,23,24 or the effect of drugs on brain activity and symptoms of fear.25-26 "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we examined how personality disposition may affect the response to cholecystokinin tetrapeptide (CCK-4; 50 microg) challenge in healthy volunteers (n=105). Personality traits were assessed with the Swedish universities Scales of Personality (SSP). Statistical methods employed were correlation analysis and logistic regression. The results showed that the occurrence of CCK-4-induced panic attacks was best predicted by baseline diastolic blood pressure, preceding anxiety and SSP-defined traits of lack of assertiveness, detachment, embitterment and verbal aggression. Significant interactions were noted between the above mentioned variables, modifying their individual effects. For different subsets of CCK-4-induced symptoms, the traits of physical aggression, irritability, somatic anxiety and stress susceptibility also appeared related to panic manifestations. These findings suggest that some personality traits and their interactions may influence vulnerability to CCK-4-induced panic attacks in healthy volunteers.
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