Agoraphobic patients feel dizzy in crowded open spaces and respond to this symptom with excessive fear and avoidance. These clinical features show great similitude with the newly defined syndrome of persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD). Patients with PPPD show decreased activity and connectivity in regions of the vestibular cortex. Due to the great overlap between these two conditions, we hypothesized that individuals with sub-clinical agoraphobia would show reduction in the connectivity features of these regions. We selected a group of healthy individuals from the Human Connectome Project that self-reported agoraphobia episodes, and compared it with a control group. We accurately matched the two groups for psychological measures and personality traits in order to study the neural correlates of vestibular symptoms independently of possible psychiatric vulnerabilities. We found that the agoraphobia group showed reduced betweenness centrality of a network encompassing key regions of the vestibular cortex. Dysfunctions of the vestibular cortex may explain the dizziness symptom for a disorder previously labelled as psychogenic.

Reduced betweenness centrality of a sensory-motor vestibular network in subclinical agoraphobia

Indovina I.;
2019

Abstract

Agoraphobic patients feel dizzy in crowded open spaces and respond to this symptom with excessive fear and avoidance. These clinical features show great similitude with the newly defined syndrome of persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD). Patients with PPPD show decreased activity and connectivity in regions of the vestibular cortex. Due to the great overlap between these two conditions, we hypothesized that individuals with sub-clinical agoraphobia would show reduction in the connectivity features of these regions. We selected a group of healthy individuals from the Human Connectome Project that self-reported agoraphobia episodes, and compared it with a control group. We accurately matched the two groups for psychological measures and personality traits in order to study the neural correlates of vestibular symptoms independently of possible psychiatric vulnerabilities. We found that the agoraphobia group showed reduced betweenness centrality of a network encompassing key regions of the vestibular cortex. Dysfunctions of the vestibular cortex may explain the dizziness symptom for a disorder previously labelled as psychogenic.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/3210476
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