Misophonia: an imaging study on the neurobiology and the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy


Misophonia is a currently underrecognized and uninvestigated condition in which specific sounds, commonly produced by human beings, trigger impulsive aggressiveness in apparently normal people. The intensity of the anger initiates a profound feeling of loss of self-control which causes significant avoidant behaviour that results in limited social contacts and functioning.
Recently, diagnostic criteria have been formulated by Schröder, Vulink and Denys to distinguish it as a separate psychiatric disorder. Subsequently, a special group therapy consisting of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychomotor therapy (PMT), has been developed in the AMC, which resulted in significant symptom reduction in the majority of the patients.
The objective for this study is threefold. The first goal is to objectify differences in brain function between patients and normal controls, using EEG and fMRI. The second objective is to support preliminary findings that the combination of CBT/PMT is an effective treatment for misophonia. The final goal is to determine the genetic and epigenetic factors involved in misophonia and its treatment.