Medical Express

ISSN (print): 2318-8111

ISSN (online): 2358-0429

Author's Articles

2 result(s) for: Aline Sardinha

Aerobic training intervention in panic disorder: a case-series study

Raphael Marques Gomes; Aline Sardinha; Claudio Gil Soares de Araújo; Antônio Egidio Nardi; Andrea Camaz Deslandes


Abstract PDF

OBJECTIVES: The anxiolytic effect of regular aerobic exercise in panic disorder patients is well known. However, a protocol for aerobic exercise intervention as an adjunct non-pharmacologic treatment for panic disorder is still lacking. Our aim was to propose and present a pilot study about an aerobic training protocol that could be replicable, safe and viable for other clinical trials with panic disorder patients.
METHODS: A total of 24 exercise sessions (twice/week) of treadmill walking at controlled intensity (75% VO2max) were completed by four panic disorder patients.
RESULTS: No major complications were observed. The benefits of the aerobic training intervention were reflected in favorable changes in the Panic and Agoraphobia Scale, the Cardiac Anxiety Questionnaire, the Anxiety Sensitivity Index and in the Body Sensations Questionnaire scores, in spite of no significant differences in physiological variables.
CONCLUSIONS: The proposed protocol of aerobic training intervention was shown to be a safe and potentially useful tool as adjunct non-pharmacologic treatment of panic disorder. Further studies are needed in order to determine whether higher intensities and/or longer exercise interventions would induce physiological benefits while still being feasible and safe.

Keywords: physical exercise; anxiety; non-pharmacological treatment.

Unveiling the specific role of psychological and cardiorespiratory variables in the therapeutic effect of an aerobic exercise training protocol for panic disorder

Aline Sardinha; Raphael Marques Gomes; Claudio Gil Soares de Araújo; Rafael C Freire; Marina Dyskant Mochcovitch; Andrea Camaz Deslandes; Antonio E Nardi


Abstract PDF

BACKGROUND: There is limited evidence regarding the use of exercise training in the treatment of panic disorder.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the role of psychological and cardiorespiratory variables in the therapeutic effect of a 12-week exercise training in panic disorder patients.
METHODS: Eleven symptomatic panic disorder patients completed 24 sessions, 2 sessions/week, 70%VO2max) aerobic exercise training in addition to regular pharmacological treatment. Assessment was performed at baseline, six and 12-week periods. Exercise training intensity was individualized according to maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing data.
RESULTS: Patients who exercised in conjunction with pharmacotherapy obtained significant improvements in several variables. Exercise training produced a selective, rather than a general anxiolytic impact. An early (6-week) effect was observed in fear of physiological arousal, interoceptive conditioning and in the frequency and intensity of panic attacks. Smaller additional 12-week effects were found in health concerns and agoraphobic cognitions, with no significant impact in agoraphobia.
CONCLUSION: A 12-week aerobic exercise training protocol was well-tolerated and able to improve several psychological and cardiovascular indicators in most patients with panic disorders. Further studies are needed to identify the best training protocols and long-term effects of exercise, as well as interactions between cardiorespiratory and psychological variables in this context.

Keywords: Mental health, Anxiety sensitivity, Interoceptive exposure, Exercise, Cardiovascular risk.