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Comparison of Immune Reactivity to Respiratory Challenges in Asthmatics with and without Panic Disorder


Comparison of Immune Reactivity to Respiratory Challenges in Asthmatics with and without Panic Disorder

Elhalwi, Alexandre (2014) Comparison of Immune Reactivity to Respiratory Challenges in Asthmatics with and without Panic Disorder. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Asthma and panic disorder (PD) are highly comorbid conditions. The objective of this study was to examine if PD altered immune reactivity in asthmatics to two acute respiratory stress challenges. We hypothesized that asthmatics with PD would have increased proportions of sputum eosinophils compared to asthmatics without PD in reaction to both challenges.

Eleven participants (7 PD, 4 non-PD) inhaled methacholine (which produces an asthma attack) on a first day, and on a second, two gases in randomized order: compressed air and a 35% carbon dioxide (CO2) solution (the latter produces a ‘simulated’ panic attack). Following each challenge, we induced sputum to assess immune cell profiles.

ANCOVA-like GLMs demonstrated that the PD group had a significantly lower proportion of sputum lymphocytes (β=-0.75, 95% CIs = -1.30–0.20) than the non-PD group in response to methacholine. A trend also emerged for the PD group reacting with more eosinophils (β=5.03, 95% CIs = -0.73–10.79). The presence of PD conferred no effect on neutrophils (β=-11.72, 95% CIs = -34.64–11.18) or macrophages (β=0.10, 95% CIs = -22.63–22.82). Analyses did not reveal a significant effect of PD on immune reactivity to CO2.

PD appears to influence immunological responses in asthmatics by decreasing the proportion of sputum lymphocytes following a methacholine challenge, but does not seem to alter the immunological responses to CO2 inhalation. Additional studies are indicated to characterize the immunological interrelations between these conditions; these discoveries could allow clinicians to select more targeted treatments for this population.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Exercise Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Elhalwi, Alexandre
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Exercise Science
Date:28 August 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bacon, Simon L.
Keywords:Panic disorder, asthma, eosinophil, lymphocyte, stress, panic induction
ID Code:978890
Deposited On:11 Nov 2014 14:55
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:47


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