In-vivo EEG Changes During A Panic Attack in A Patient With Specific Phobia

Hessel J. Engelbregt, Daniel Keeser, Vincent H.L. Promes, Sonja Verhagen-Schouten, Jan Berend Deijen


Since early adolescence a 47-year-old male suffers from specific phobia with panic disorder (PD) which is similar to agoraphobia. The panic starts when he crosses the borders of his domicile, regardless of the type of transport. On request of client and his GP, we recorded his EEG during a car trip from his house to a distant village. We aimed to explore underlying EEG changes that may accompany the initiation and the progression of his panic attacks. The panic attack took place during the car-ride where we detected an increase of frontal beta (?) activity (13-26 Hz) and a relatively sudden decrease of frontal-central theta (?) activity (3-6 Hz). These findings suggest that EEG recordings can be useful to monitor the beginning and the end of a panic attack and may determine the exact EEG changes that initiate a panic attack.

J Med Cases. 2012;3(1):34-38


Phobia; Panic disorder; Panic attack; Agoraphobia; EEG recordings; Beta activity; Theta activity

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