Objective: To investigate the blood flow differences in individuals with varying anxiety symptomatology during administration of SPECT scans at rest and during concentration. Method: Data was collected from a de-identified database from an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Participants included 5037 individuals with a self-reported high level of anxiety symptomatology with an average age of 38.27 (SD = 13.80), and 5060 individuals with low levels of self-reported anxiety symptomatology, with an average age of 43.31 (SD = 17.25). Participants underwent SPECT scans at rest and during a period of concentration. Results: An independent samples t-test was used to compare mean differences of cerebral blood flow in individuals reporting high and low anxiety symptomatology. At baseline, results revealed significant differences in areas of the occipital lobes (p = .001), left basal ganglia (p = .009), and the left limbic area (p = .006). Results revealed significant differences in blood flow during concentration in the limbic areas (p < .001), basal ganglia (p < .001), left parietal area (p = .011), left motor sensory areas (p = .005), and vermis (p = .002). Conclusion: Individuals with self-reported levels of high anxiety symptomatology experienced higher levels of blood perfusion during baseline and concentration in the left limbic area and higher levels solely in the right limbic area during concentration. This is in accordance with previous imaging research suggesting overactivation of the limbic system in individuals that experience anxiety. Individuals with lower reported anxiety symptomatology showed increased blood perfusion in the occipital lobes. This finding suggests that nonanxious individuals may be better at processing visual information during tasks of selective and sustained attention than individuals experiencing anxiety.
Anxiety Symptomatology: A SPECT Scan Analysis
Arch Clin Neuropsychol (2015) 30 (6): 498.
25 August 2015
S Lenox, C Golden, D Amen, K Willeumier, D Taylor; A-34
Anxiety Symptomatology: A SPECT Scan Analysis. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 498. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.34
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