Default mode network connectivity as a predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder symptom severity in acutely traumatized subjects

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 5.55). 06/2009; 121(1):33-40. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01391.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between default mode network connectivity and the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in a sample of eleven acutely traumatized subjects.
Participants underwent a 5.5 min resting functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Brain areas whose activity positively correlated with that of the posterior cingulate/precuneus (PCC) were assessed. To assess the relationship between severity of PTSD symptoms and PCC connectivity, the contrast image representing areas positively correlated with the PCC was correlated with the subjects' Clinician Administered PTSD Scale scores.
Results suggest that resting state connectivity of the PCC with the perigenual anterior cingulate and the right amygdala is associated with current PTSD symptoms and that correlation with the right amygdala predicts future PTSD symptoms.
These results may contribute to the development of prognostic tools to distinguish between those who will and those who will not develop PTSD.

Download full-text


Available from: Richard Jim Neufeld, May 06, 2014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Three intrinsic connectivity networks in the brain, namely the central executive, salience, and default mode networks, have been identified as crucial to the understanding of higher cognitive functioning, and the functioning of these networks has been suggested to be impaired in psychopathology, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Objective: 1) To describe three main large-scale networks of the human brain; 2) to discuss the functioning of these neural networks in PTSD and related symptoms; and 3) to offer hypotheses for neuroscientificallyinformed interventions based on treating the abnormalities observed in these neural networks in PTSD and related disorders. Methods: Literature relevant to this commentary was reviewed. Results: Increasing evidence for altered functioning of the central executive, salience, and default mode networks in PTSD has been demonstrated. We suggest that each network is associated with specific clinical symptoms observed in PTSD, including cognitive dysfunction (central executive network), increased and decreased arousal/interoception (salience network), and an altered sense of self (default mode network). Specific testable neuroscientifically-informed treatments aimed to restore each of these neural networks and related clinical dysfunction are proposed. Conclusions: Neuroscientifically-informed treatment interventions will be essential to future research agendas aimed at targeting specific PTSD and related symptoms.
    European Journal of Psychotraumatology 03/2015; 6. DOI:10.3402/ejpt.v6.27313 · 2.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Eric Berne’s energy theory describes free cathexis and unbound cathexis as two forms of psychic energy. The authors suggest possible links between Berne’s theory of cathexis and recent models of brain functioning. They propose that neural systems involved in mental processes associated with voluntary attention may be connected to free cathexis. The default system, which is activated during a resting state when attention is not required for a specific task but is free to wander, is proposed as the neural substrate of unbound energy. The authors explore this hypothesis and consider evidence of default system involvement in there-and-then processing, self-projection, and spontaneous attention.
    02/2015; 45(1). DOI:10.1177/0362153714566596
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: MRI participation has been shown to induce subjective and neuroendocrine stress reactions. A recent aging study showed that cortisol levels during fMRI have an age-dependent effect on cognitive performance and brain functioning. The present study examined whether this age-specific influence of cortisol on behavioral and brain activation levels also applies to adolescence. Salivary cortisol as well as subjective experienced anxiety were assessed during the practice session, at home, and before, during and after the fMRI session in young versus old male adolescents. Cortisol levels were enhanced pre-imaging relative to during and post-imaging in both age groups, suggesting anticipatory stress and anxiety. Overall, a negative correlation was found between cortisol output during the fMRI experiment and brain activation magnitude during performance of a gambling task. In young but not in old adolescents, higher cortisol output was related to stronger deactivation of clusters in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. In old but not in young adolescents, a negative correlation was found between cortisol and activation in the inferior parietal and in the superior frontal cortex. In sum, cortisol increased the deactivation of several brain areas, although the location of the affected areas in the brain was age-dependent. The present findings suggest that cortisol output during fMRI should be considered as confounder and integrated in analyzing developmental changes in brain activation during adolescence.
    Brain Research 12/2014; 1598. DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.12.022 · 2.83 Impact Factor