Neuropsychological impairments in panic disorder: a systematic review

Kate O'Sullivan, Emily Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is a growing body of literature investigating the neuropsychological profile of panic disorder (PD), some of which suggests potential cognitive dysfunction. This paper systematically reviews the existing literature on neuropsychological performance in PD.

PsycINFO, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsycARTICLES databases were searched to identify articles reporting on neuropsychological function in PD published in English during the time period 1980 to March 2012. 14 studies were identified.

There was limited support for impairment in short term memory among individuals with PD, although this was not found across all studies. Overall, the reviewed studies did not support the presence of impairment in other areas of cognitive functioning, including executive function, long term memory, visuospatial or perceptual abilities and working memory.

Studies with samples of fewer than 15 participants per group were excluded from this review. A limited amount of research has been published on this topic and small sample sizes (under 25 per group) have been used by many studies. Therefore, the current review is based on a small number of studies with limited power.

There is limited evidence of specific neuropsychological impairments in participants with PD. Impairments in short term memory warrant further investigation to establish their relevance to clinical practice. Larger sample sizes and appropriate statistical adjustment for multiple comparisons in future studies is highly recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-284
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders (JAD)
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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