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Am J Psychiatry. 1984 Jul;141(7):857-61.

Response to hyperventilation in a group of patients with panic disorder.


Twelve patients with DSM-III diagnoses of panic disorder and four normal volunteers were studied during hyperventilation of room air and increased ventilation stimulated by 5% CO2. Patients also underwent sodium lactate infusion. Eight of the patients had a panic attack during sodium lactate infusion, seven during CO2 inhalation, and three during room-air hyperventilation. Since CO2 increases the firing of the locus ceruleus, and since sodium lactate infusion is known to increase cerebral CO2, these findings are consistent with other evidence implicating the locus ceruleus in panic anxiety.

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