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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria

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COSCI, Fiammetta. The psychological development of panic disorder: implications for neurobiology and treatment. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2012, vol.34, suppl.1, pp.9-19. ISSN 1516-4446.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to survey the available literature on psychological development of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia [PD(A)] and its relationship with the neurobiology and the treatment of panic. METHODS: Both a computerized (PubMed) and a manual search of the literature were performed. Only English papers published in peer-reviewed journals and referring to PD(A) as defined by the diagnostic classifications of the American Psychiatric Association or of the World Health Organization were included. CONCLUSIONS: A staging model of panic exists and is applicable in clinical practice. In a substantial proportion of patients with PD(A), a prodromal phase and, despite successful treatment, residual symptoms can be identified. Both prodromes and residual symptoms allow the monitoring of disorder evolution during recovery via the rollback phenomenon. The different stages of the disorder, as well as the steps of the rollback, have a correspondence in the neurobiology and in the treatment of panic. However, the treatment implications of the longitudinal model of PD(A) are not endorsed, and adequate interventions of enduring effects are missing.

Keywords : staging; panic disorder; subclinical symptoms; neurobiology; treatment.

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