Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Neural Processing of Agoraphobia-Specific Stimuli in Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia

André Wittmann, Florian Schlagenhauf, Anne Guhn, Ulrike Lueken, Manja Elle, Meline Stoy, Carolin Liebscher, Felix Bermpohl, Thomas Fydrich, Bettina Pfleiderer, Harald Bruhn, Alexander L. Gerlach, Benjamin Straube, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Volker Arolt, Andreas Heinz, Tilo Kircher & Andreas Ströhle
Background: Patients suffering from panic disorder and agoraphobia are significantly impaired in daily life due to anxiety about getting into a situation due to apprehension about experiencing a panic attack, especially if escape may be difficult. Dysfunctional beliefs and behavior can be changed with cognitive behavioral therapy; however, the neurobiological effects of such an intervention on the anticipation and observation of agoraphobia-specific stimuli are unknown. Methods: We compared changes in neural activation by measuring the...
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