Move over cognitive therapy CART has arrived
This new treatment program called CART. This new treatment teaches people who endure panic disorders to decrease their frightening symptoms by bringing their breathing back to normal.
This therapy has been shown to be more exceptional than traditional cognitive behavior for reducing both panic and hyperventilation symptoms.
CART aides patients in learning to breathe in a certain way that reverses hyperventilation. Meaning breathing above what the body requires. Produces deep or rapid breathing most common in patients with panic disorders.
Dr. Alicia E. Meuret, PhD., Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and researcher of the study, states that CART has a therapeutic change in carbon dioxide that alters panic symptoms instead of the opposite way.
During treatments have simple breathing exercises twice each day. A portable capnometer records feedback during the exercises on patients CO2 levels. The aim of the exercise is to decrease chronic and severe hyperventilation and linked physical symptoms. This is accomplished by breathing slower but most primarily more shallow. Just the opposite to acknowledged belief, taking deep breaths do make hyperventilation symptoms worse not better.
Most panic disorder patients acknowledge that they are scared to death of the physical symptoms such as shortness of breath. In the study, cognitive therapy did not change the respiratory anatomy but CART did efficiently decrease hyperventilation. CART was substantiated as an effective and compelling treatment which decreases the panic by the method of normalizing respiratory breathing.
Demonstrated biological therapy
The study was CART against cognitive therapy treatment called CT for short. Conventional CT aims to teach patients methods geared at aiding them to alter and reverse adverse thoughts in order to decrease fear or panic.
In the study named CART-CT, 41 patients had been designated to complete either a CART or CT treatment program for panic disorder and agoraphobia ( a fear of being in places where it could be hard or embarrassing to leave quickly or where you may have a panic attack and not receive help).
Both treatment programs had equal results in decreasing symptoms. CART only was able to physiologically change panic symptoms by intensely reversing hyperventilation in patients. CT did not change the respiratory response.
Responds to terror linked with panic
This is the second randomized controlled study on CART to gauge its effectiveness. Due to reversing hyperventilation, patients acknowledged a new ability to decrease panic symptoms by methods of altering respiration.
For example in the use of CART Dr. Meuret notes if a patient notes shortness of breath, the therapist than challenges the belief by asking them how often did they actually suffocate during a panic attack, in hopes this will alter the patients way of thinking.
Dr. Meuret explains that CART alerts them that a patient CO2 is low and causing many of the symptoms feared however, it can also show how to alter these symptoms by using correct breathing. There has been a belief that if people worry less about symptoms it will also normalize their physiology. This study demonstrates that is not the fact. Hyperventilation stays unchanged, which could be a possible risk factor for relapse later on. Besides from hyperventilation being a symptom means, it is an unhealthy biological state linked with negative health results.
CART decreases frequency and severity of asthma attacks
Dr. Alicia Meuret and Dr. Thomas Ritz, PhD of SMU, developed a four week training program in order to teach asthmatics of how to have better control of their condition by altering how they breathe. Their research has been aided by receiving $1.4 million grant from the Institutes of Health for the four year study. The study has plans of 120 Dallas County patients to participate in a four week breathing training and projected completion date is July 2011. Their co-researchers will be Dr. David Rosenfield, PhD, of SMU and Dr. Mark Millard, M.D., of Baylor University Center in Dallas.
More than 34.1 million Americans endure asthma.
During an asthmatic attack, hyperventilation seems to occur, breathing fast and deep against tightening airways to fight an overpowering feeling of oxygen deprivation.
The problem worsens by lowering the body's carbon dioxide levels, this confines blood flow to the brain which can further aggravate bronchial passages which are already hypersensitive.
Patients that over breathe on a maintained basis risk chronic CO2 deficiencies which places them more at risk for future attacks. Rescue medications which provide relief for asthma symptoms do not correct the breathing problems linked with hyperventilation.
As part of the SMU's "Stress, Anxiety and Chronic Research Program", Dr. Meuret and Ritz will employ CART to teach asthma patients to normalize and reverse chronic over breathing. Using the capnometer, patients will learn how to breathe more slowly, shallowly and regular.
Dr. Ritz notes that CART methods could have a positive effect on quality of asthma treatment while decreasing the need for acute care.
Research has shown that this type of respiratory therapy can provide limits to both the severity and frequency of attacks. This would mean there would be less visits to the doctor and less use of rescue inhalers. Which in the long run saves both time and money.
Dr. Meuret states this training provides patients a new way to handle acute symptoms and makes them feel like they are more in control.
Pilot Evaluation of CART 2007
The pilot study was used to determine the feasibility and potential benefits of CART.
Twelve asthmatic patients were randomly assigned to an immediate four week treatment group or a waiting group. Patients received instructions on how to modify their respiration to alter their CO2 levels by using a hand held capnometer. The outcome of the treatment was evaluated on frequency and distress of symptoms, asthma control and lung function and instability of peak expulsion of air flow(PEF).
The results had shown stable increases of CO2 levels and decrease in respiration rate during treatment and at two month follow-up. Mean CO2 levels rose from hypocapnic(low levels of carbon dioxide in the blood) to a nomocapnia(normal carbon dioxide levels) range at follow-up. Also, a reduction in distress symptoms and an increase in asthma control. The mean PEF also decreased significantly.
Conclusion was that CART had shown evidence that it was feasible training in asthma patients.
Could CART be the next behavioral treatment?
You can watch a video of CART at You Tube - Treating Panic Disorder