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Psychiatr Danub. 2012 Sep;24 Suppl 1:S41-3.

Cognitive correlates in panic disorder as related to impulsivity - preliminary report.

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Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland.



Impulsivity is the neurophysiologically based inability to confirm behaviour to its context or consequences. Overimpulsiveness characterizes many mental disorders and poses an important clinical dilemma. Although the relationship between mood disorders and impulsivity has been well studied the relationship between anxiety and impulsivity is controversial and not well explored. Some studies hypothesise that patients with the diagnosis of panic disorders are characterised by higher levels of impulsivity as a trait as compared to healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to assess cognitive correlates in panic disorder as related to impulsivity measures.


Within the preliminary studies four patients diagnosed with panic disorder (DSM-IV-TR) were studied. The severity measure was the Panic and Agoraphobia Scale. The experimental group comprised of psychotropic drug naive patients. Impulsiveness was evaluated with the Barrat Impulsiveness Scale - 11th version (BIS-11). To asses cognitive functions we used CANTAB (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery).


BIS-11 scores observed in the group of psychotropic drug naive patients with panic disorder were higher than the adjusted average for the population and correlated with the number of mistakes in CANTAB (Spatial Working Memory Test); rs=0.949; p=0.0513.


The preliminary findings indicate a correlation between impulsivity and cognitive deficits in panic disorder in psychotropic drug naive patients.

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