I spoke recently with friend and colleague, Laszlo Papp, MD, about his research in the biology of anxiety. Laszlo has been doing some very interesting studies at Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry where he serves as Director of the Biological Studies Unit. In Laszlo's biological challenge studies, people with anxiety disorders are given air to breathe that has been enriched with higher than normal levels of CO2. At 5% CO2, persons with panic disorder tend to have panic attacks, while normal control subjects (non-panickers) do not. Dr. Papp and colleagues (including Donald Klein and Jack Gorman) have viewed this is evidence of a biological underpinning of anxiety. Subsequent studies by Ron Rapee or Larry Welkowitz (both psychologists) have shown that psychological factors, such as expectations, can affect panickers response to CO2 inhalation, thus bringing in to question a "purely biological" model of anxiety.
Click on the MP3 file below to hear this week's interview with Dr. Laszlo Papp:
MP3 PROGRAM REMOVED ON 4/16/07
I will also include an interview with a friend who has graciously consented speaking for a few minutes about her own panic attacks. Click on the MP3 file below to hear her comments: