Effect of Escitalopram on Attentional Bias in Panic Disorder an Event-Related Potential Study
Journal of Psychiatry
Objective: To investigate the effect of treatment with Escitalopram on attentional bias in PD using an ERP dotprobe task of facial expression. Method: Subjects included 25 patients with PD, and 25 controls. Psychopathology was rated in patients with the HAMA at baseline, after 8-week treatments with Escitalopram. EEG was recorded at Oz when participants perform dot-probe task of facial expression. BESA 5.1.8 was used to perform data analysis. Result: It showed that 8 week treatments of
... atments of Escitalopram decreased HAMA scores; patients at baseline showed an attention bias towards threat, however, after 8 week treatments, no significant bias towards happy faces was observed for either group. Patients had a more pronounced (more negative) C1 amplitude than controls in response to the angry-neutral face pairs, however, no differences between patients after 8 week treatments and controls were observed. There was no significant correlation between changes in C1 amplitudes and changes in HAMA scores before and after 8 week treatments of Escitalopram. Conclusion: Individuals with PD pay more attention to threatening facial expressions, i.e., individuals with PD show a greater bias towards negative stimuli and ERP offers objective evidence that treatment with Escitalopram leads to the improvement of attentional bias. A study indicated that PD is associated with white matter connectivity enhancement in cingulate region, which probably compensate the white matter structural abnormalities derived from PD symptoms  . Another study displayed that Escitalopram can increase the cytogenesis of ventral hippocampal formation through its modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release in the chronic stress rat model  .