Neurological status of Vietnam veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder.

Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Manchester, New Hampshire 03103.
Journal of Neuropsychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.77). 02/1993; 5(2):183-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study investigated neurological status in 27 medication-free outpatient Vietnam veterans meeting DSM-III-R criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 15 non-PTSD combat control subjects, all without alcohol or drug dependence or abuse during the past year. Subjects underwent neurological examination, neuropsychological testing, and sleep-deprived EEG. PTSD subjects showed significantly more neurological soft signs than non-PTSD subjects. Neither substance dependence/abuse nor the more frequent history of developmental problems in PTSD subjects accounted for this difference. There were no significant EEG or neuropsychological testing group differences; however, there were significant correlations between several neuropsychological test scores and total neurological soft signs.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often comorbid yet despite the increased comorbidity between the two disorders, to our knowledge, no data have been published regarding the neuropsychological profile of adults with comorbid ADHD and PTSD. Likewise, previous empirical studies of the neuropsychology of PTSD did not control for ADHD status. We sought to fill this gap in the literature and to assess the extent to which neuropsychological test performance predicted psychosocial functioning, and perceived quality of life. Method: Participants were 201 adults with ADHD attending an outpatient mental health clinic between 1998 and 2003 and 123 controls without ADHD. Participants completed a large battery of self-report measures and psychological tests. Diagnoses were made using data obtained from structured psychiatric interviews (i.e., Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children Epidemiologic Version). Results: Differences emerged between control participants and participants with ADHD on multiple neuropsychological tests. Across all tests, control participants outperformed participants with ADHD. Differences between the two ADHD groups emerged on seven psychological subtests including multiple Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third edition and Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test measures. These test differences did not account for self-reported quality of life differences between groups. Conclusion: The comorbidity with PTSD in adults with ADHD is associated with weaker cognitive performance on several tasks that appear related to spatial/perceptual abilities and fluency. Neuropsychological test performances may share variance with the quality of life variables yet are not mediators of the quality of life ratings. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX).
    Journal of Attention Disorders 02/2014; · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Memory deficits are a common complaint of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite vivid trauma-related memory, previous studies report memory impairment for nontrauma-related stimuli when compared to controls, specifically in associative memory (Guez et al., 2011). Healthy individuals show hemispheric memory asymmetry with left-prefrontal lateralization of encoding and right-prefrontal lateralization of episodic retrieval, suggesting a role for interhemispheric communication in memory-related tasks (Gazzaniga, ; Ringo, Doty, Demeter, & Simard, ). Because brain magnetic resonance imaging (bMRI) studies in PTSD patients report volume changes in various regions, including white matter and corpus callosum (CC), we aimed to test the relationship between memory deficits and CC volume in PTSD patients. We probed for specific alterations in associative memory in PTSD and measured the volume of subportions within the CC employing bMRI. Our main finding was a reduction in CC white-matter volume in PTSD patients, as compared to controls, t(35) = -2.7, p = .010, that was correlated with lower associative performance (r = .76, p = .003). We propose that CC volume reduction is a substrate for the associative memory deficits found in PTSD.
    Journal of Traumatic Stress 01/2014; · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that stems from exposure to one or more traumatic events. While PTSD is thought to result from a dysregulation of emotional neurocircuitry, neurocognitive difficulties are frequently reported. Mental flexibility is a core executive function that involves the ability to shift and adapt to new information. It is essential for appropriate social-cognitive behaviours. Magnetoencephalography (MEG), a neuroimaging modality with high spatial and temporal resolution, has been used to track the progression of brain activation during tasks of mental flexibility called set-shifting. We hypothesized that the sensitivity of MEG would be able to capture the abnormal neurocircuitry implicated in PTSD and this would negatively impact brain regions involved in set-shifting. Twenty-two soldiers with PTSD and 24 matched control soldiers completed a colour-shape set-shifting task. MEG data were recorded and source localized to identify significant brain regions involved in the task. Activation latencies were obtained by analysing the time course of activation in each region. The control group showed a sequence of activity that involved dorsolateral frontal cortex, insula and posterior parietal cortices. The soldiers with PTSD showed these activations but they were interrupted by activations in paralimbic regions. This is consistent with models of PTSD that suggest dysfunctional neurocircuitry is driven by hyper-reactive limbic areas that are not appropriately modulated by prefrontal cortical control regions. This is the first study identifying the timing and location of atypical neural responses in PTSD with set-shifting and supports the model that hyperactive limbic structures negatively impact cognitive function.
    Translational psychiatry. 08/2014; 4:e421.