CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
UI researchers seek participants for panic disorder study
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Psychiatry researchers at the University of Iowa
College of Medicine invite persons ages 18-24 who have a parent or sibling
with panic disorder to take part in a study to identify a trait in people
who do not have the illness.
"The exact cause of panic disorder is unknown, although there is
good evidence that it is in part genetically determined," says Dr.
William Coryell, UI professor of psychiatry and lead investigator in the
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that features panic attacks.
Physical symptoms -- such as dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath
and sweating -- accompany panic attacks. Panic disorder affects as many
as 3 percent of the population and occurs more often in women than men.
Some researchers believe that people with panic disorder may have respiratory
drive systems that are especially sensitive to low levels of carbon dioxide.
"Our study is designed to see if this is true of persons whose parents
or siblings experience panic disorder," Coryell says. "Data from
pilot studies suggest this is the case, and we want to be able to confirm
that." If researchers do confirm this, Coryell adds, then the test
could be a useful tool in identifying a gene for the disorder.
Individuals ages 18-24 who can give a clear account of a parent or sibling
who has been treated for panic disorder may be eligible to take part in
the study, which will consist of one visit to the UI. Participants will
be interviewed and asked to complete a questionnaire, give a blood sample,
and undergo two breathing tests. The first test will involve inhaling a
low concentration of carbon dioxide for three minutes. For the second test,
participants will inhale a single breath of a higher concentration of carbon
dioxide. Participation in the study will last approximately three to five
Compensation is available for study participants. For more information,
call (319) 353-4162 or 1-800-634-6581, or contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.