A brain based model of anxiety sensitivity in panic disorder
- Research Opportunity
- PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
- Project Status
|A/Prof Ben Harrisonemail@example.com||(+613) 83441959||Personal web page|
|A/Prof Chris Daveyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Personal web page|
People with panic disorder are characterised by high levels of anxiety sensitivity (AS) – the specific the fear of bodily anxiety sensations. It is a widely recognized as a core feature of the disorder that contributes to its development, maintenance and treatment.
The central aim of this project is to characterise the neural basis of high AS in people with panic disorder and to determine whether it is predictive of longer-term outcomes assessed via naturalistic follow up. Specifically, we will recruit a group of young untreated individuals with panic disorder and assess them with an experimental protocol that combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), psychophysiological monitoring and advanced neural systems analysis. We will demonstrate that panic disorder is characterised by a selective functional alteration in the neural appraisal of bodily anxiety sensations and that this alteration will predict poorer clinical outcome over a 12-month period.
The significance of this work will be to characterise a core neurobiological feature of panic disorder. Given the existing link between AS and treatment outcomes in this population, our results may inform the discovery of a novel brain systems target with direct relevance to treatment optimisation.
This research project is available to PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the supervisor to discuss your options.