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1 Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz.

2 Laboratorio de Neuropsicología y Psicofisiología. Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.Correspondencia:
Psic. Elizabeth Palomares Castillo.
Servicio de Psicofisiología Aplicada.
Dirección de Servicios Clínicos.
Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente.
Calz. México–Xochimilco101, San Lorenzo Huipulco,
Tlalpan, 14370, México, D.F.
E–mail: elishesa@yahoo.com.mx

Recibido: 24 de junio de 2010.
Aceptado: 4 de octubre de 2010.


Evidence from recentstudies about the epidemiology of panic disorder (PD) indicates that it is present in 4.7% of general population. In Mexico City, 2.9% of females and 1.9% of males are affected by this disease. Due tothe incidence cited above, it is considered an important mental health problem that has impacted social, labor and familiar areas.

On the other hand, PD is frequently present in comorbidity withother disorders like major depression, social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder. Moreover, in some cases, it may lead to a suicide risk.

PD is characterized by recurrent, unexpected panicattacks, and is commonly associated with agoraphobia. A panic attack is defined as a discrete period of fear or discomfort that includes physical, cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Physical symptomscomprise short breath, palpitations, sweating, dizziness, gastrointestinal discomfort, and chest pain. Cognitive symptoms are associated with catastrophic interpretation of bodily sensations; behavioralsymptoms are mainly avoidant of different places, situations and actions that patient had associated with fear of loss of control.

In the past few years there has been a growing interest in theneuropsychology of anxiety disorders.

Neuropsychological evaluation is relevant because it implies an objective assessment of the cognitive and behavioral abilities and weaknesses that make possible...