Hot Flashes and Panic Attacks: A Comparison of Symptomatology, Neurobiology, Treatment, and a Role for Cognition

Laura J. Hanisch, Liisa Hantsoo, Ellen W. Freeman, Gregory M. Sullivan, James C. Coyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite decades of research, the causal mechanisms of hot flashes are not adequately understood, and a biopsychosocial perspective on hot flashes remains underdeveloped. This article explores overlooked parallels between hot flashes and panic attacks within 5 areas: course and symptomatology, physiological indicators, neurocircuitry and biochemical mechanisms, pharmacotherapy, and psychological treatment, noting both similarities and important differences between the 2 events. An integrative conceptual model is presented that identifies key ways in which psychological factors may influence the experience of hot flashes, with clinical implications and areas of future research. This model yields readily testable hypotheses and may provide a template for exploring the role of cognition in the frequency and severity of hot flashes and, in turn, a basis for the development of nonpharmacological treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-269
Number of pages23
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume134
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anxiety sensitivity
  • hormones
  • hot flash
  • panic
  • sternal skin conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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