Elevated Brain Lactate Response during Visual Stimulation in Panic Disorder
Buonocore M, Maddock R, Richards A, Lavoie S, Copeland L
University of California Davis
Patients with panic disorder (PD) have elevated brain lactate responses to alkalosis. This has been interpreted as evidence of cerebral hypoxia due to excessive vasoconstriction in PD. However, brain lactate can increase during neural activation under fully aerobic conditions. We tested the hypoxia model of panic disorder by measuring visual cortex lactate responses during visual stimulation in PD patients and normals with proton MRS. Optimal slice-selective gradient order was crucial for obtaining artifact-free spectra. PD patients had significantly greater increases in visual cortex lactate during visual stimulation than normal volunteers. This finding is evidence against the hypoxia model of PD.