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Cogn Behav Neurol. 2003 Dec;16(4):225-33.

Correlates of generalized anxiety and panic attacks in dystonia and Parkinson disease.

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Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Internal Medicine (Neurology), and Radiology and Family Medicine and Community Medicine of Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Georgia 31201, USA.



To determine prevalences of generalized anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and panic disorder in primary dystonia (n = 28) and Parkinson disease (n = 28) and to explore their clinical correlates.


We previously identified increases in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition generalized anxiety in dystonia and panic attacks in Parkinson disease.


Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) ascertainment of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, revised, disorders.


Generalized anxiety disorder was more common in dystonia while panic disorder was more common in Parkinson disease (P = 0.0018). Generalized anxiety developed more commonly after dystonia onset (i.e., secondary generalized anxiety) while panic attacks developed more commonly after Parkinson disease onset (P = 0.0132). Specific life prevalences were: generalized anxiety disorder, 7 subjects (25.0%) in dystonia versus 0 subjects (0.0%) in Parkinson disease; generalized anxiety, 11 (39.3%) versus 0 (0.0%); panic disorder, 2 (7.1%) versus 7 (25.0%); and panic attacks, 2 (7.1%) versus 9 (32.1%). Exploratory analysis in Parkinson disease indicated a relationship of panic disorder (P = 0.027) and secondary panic attacks (P = 0.0009) to motor block frequency. There were nonsignificant trends toward associations of secondary generalized anxiety with lower Mini Mental Status Examination scores (P = 0.058), and of secondary panic attacks with presence of a depressive disorder (P = 0.077). Depressive comorbidity rates are also presented.


These findings suggest relations of generalized anxiety with reduced pallidal inhibition of thalamofrontotemporal projections, and panic attacks with locus coeruleus dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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