What is it about?

People suffering from panic disorder have high levels of stress, severe symptoms of depression, gastrointestinal disturbances and poorer physical health. In recent years, it has been discovered that there is a two-way communication between the gut and the brain, and that the gut microbiota is involved in psychological processes, adaptation to stress and the proper functioning of the immune system. Continuous stressful living disrupts gut and mental health, disrupting the body's physiological pathways. This malfunctioning would lead to excessive release of cortisol hormone and pro-inflammatory cytokines in patients with panic disorder, as a consequence of a maladaptive inflammatory response.

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Why is it important?

To date, the underlying causes of panic disorders are unknown. Our findings establish an integrative perspective by bringing together the brain, the gastrointestinal system and the gut microbiota in order to gain a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms of panic disorders. Furthermore, it invites the development of new lines of research to create more effective treatments targeting the microbiome-gut-brain axis.


I hope that this research will serve to advance the study of anxiety disorders from a multifactorial perspective and lead to a new unifying concept of health and illness. It is imperative to consider the existence of a strong connection between the brain and the gut, as it would shed light on the understanding and explanation of the phenomena associated with panic disorders.

Ana Belén Fernández Serrano

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Negative correlation between IL‐1β, IL‐12 and TNF‐γ, and cortisol levels in patients with panic disorder, Brain and Behavior, May 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/brb3.2624.
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