Jun 2, 2020

Change in neural response during emotion regulation is associated with symptom reduction in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders

Journal of Affective Disorders
J BomyeaMurray B Stein


Anxiety disorders are debilitating conditions that can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Increased understanding of the neurobiological correlates of CBT may inform treatment improvements and personalization. Prior neuroimaging studies point to treatment-related changes in anterior cingulate, insula, and other prefrontal regions during emotional processing, yet to date the impact of CBT on neural substrates of "top down" emotion regulation remains understudied. We examined the relationship between symptom changes assessed over the course of CBT treatment sessions and pre- to post-treatment neural change during an emotion regulation task. In the current study, a sample of 30 participants with panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder completed a reappraisal-based emotion regulation task while undergoing fMRI before and after completing CBT. Reduced activation in the parahippocampal gyrus was observed from pre- to post-treatment during periods of reducing versus maintaining emotion. Parahippocampal activation was associated with change in symptoms over the course of treatment and post-treatment responder status. Results suggest that, from pre- to post-CBT, participants demonstrated downregulation of neural ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Parahippocampal Gyrus
Insula of Reil
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Frontonasal Process
Behavior Therapy

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