Panic disorder: frightening but treatable

Jun 01, 2006

A U.S. study suggests panic disorder is a fairly common condition that can cause frightening symptoms, but yet is relatively easy to treat.

A University of Washington psychiatrist says although panic disorder can be difficult to diagnose, it can usually be resolved within two months.

The review of recent clinical research on panic disorder was conducted by Dr. Wayne Katon, professor and vice-chairman of psychiatry at the UW School of Medicine.

Katon found between 3 percent and 8 percent of patients visiting their primary-care physicians suffered from panic disorder, often resulting from major stress-inducing factors in their lives.

Panic disorder can cause symptoms such as chest and abdominal pain, a pounding or irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Such alarming symptoms can often lead patients to be screened for serious ailments, such as heart attack.

"They typically go through many medical tests before their physicians accurately diagnose them," said Katon. "Panic disorder is definitely diagnosable and treatable -- people can usually be cured in four to eight weeks with either antidepressant medication or behavioral therapy, or a combination of the two."

He details his study in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New study explores physician attitudes about use of e-cigarettes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Piano plague in D minor

Sep 05, 2012

Why would 19th-century doctors want to ban piano lessons for girls? Did they truly believe that learning to play music could cause sexual and neurotic disorders? Or were there sociological reasons for picking ...

Nurturing newborn neurons sharpens minds in mice

Apr 03, 2011

Adult mice engineered to have more newborn neurons in their brain memory hub excelled at accurately discriminating between similar experiences – an ability that declines with normal aging and in some ...

Recommended for you

Research looks to combat US Latina immigrant obesity

9 hours ago

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, comprising 16.7% of the population. Approximately one-third of Latinos are obese and are 1.2 times as likely to be obese compared ...

User comments : 0