A multimodal imaging study in US veterans of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom with and without major depression after blast-related concussion
ABSTRACT Although the exact number of affected individuals is unknown, it has been estimated that approximately 20% of U.S. veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) have experienced mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) (i.e., concussion), which is defined as a brief loss or alteration of consciousness from a blow or jolt to the head. Blast exposure is among the most common causes of concussion in OEF-OIF warriors. Although the mechanism is unknown, major depressive disorder (MDD) after head injury is common. The purpose of this study was to use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the structural and functional neural correlates of MDD in OEF-OIF combat veterans with a self-reported history of blast-related concussion. We hypothesized that subjects in the MDD group (i.e., individuals with a history of blast-related concussion who were experiencing current MDD) relative to individuals in the non-MDD group (i.e., individuals with a history of blast-related concussion but no current or lifetime history of MDD) would show amygdala hyperactivity and disruption of white matter tracts connecting prefrontal and limbic brain regions. To test these hypotheses, 11 MDD and 11 non-MDD individuals underwent DTI and performed a validated emotional face matching task during fMRI. MDD relative to non-MDD individuals showed greater activity during fear matching trials in the amygdala and other emotion processing structures, lower activity during fear matching trials in emotional control structures such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in several white matter tracts including the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). Greater depressive symptom severity correlated negatively with FA in the SLF. These results suggest a biological basis of MDD in OEF-OIF veterans who have experienced blast-related concussion, and may contribute to the development of treatments aimed at improving the clinical care of this unique population of wounded warriors.
- SourceAvailable from: Kevin KW Wang
Dataset: Balakathiresan Biomarkers Ch 3+
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ABSTRACT: Combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can show impairments in executive control and increases in impulsivity. The current study examined the effects of PTSD on motor response inhibition, a key cognitive control function. A Go/NoGo task was administered to veterans with a diagnosis of PTSD based on semi-structured clinical interview using DSM-IV criteria (n = 40) and age-matched control veterans (n = 33). Participants also completed questionnaires to assess self-reported levels of PTSD and depressive symptoms. Performance measures from the patients (error rates and reaction times) were compared to those from controls. PTSD patients showed a significant deficit in response inhibition, committing more errors on NoGo trials than controls. Higher levels of PTSD and depressive symptoms were associated with higher error rates. Of the three symptom clusters, re-experiencing was the strongest predictor of performance. Because the co-morbidity of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and PTSD was high in this population, secondary analyses compared veterans with PTSD+mTBI (n = 30) to veterans with PTSD only (n = 10). Although preliminary, results indicated the two patient groups did not differ on any measure (p > .88). Since cognitive impairments could hinder the effectiveness of standard PTSD therapies, incorporating treatments that strengthen executive functions might be considered in the future. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1-10).Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 05/2012; 18(5):917-26. DOI:10.1017/S1355617712000458 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: As US military service members return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with elevated rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention has been increasingly focused on TBI/PTSD comorbidity, its neurobiological mechanisms, and novel and effective treatment approaches. TBI and PTSD, and their comorbid conditions, present with a spectrum of common clinical features such as sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, suicidality, chronic pain, and alterations in arousal. These TBI and PTSD disorders are also thought to be characterized by overlapping neural mechanisms. Both conditions are associated with changes in hippocampal, prefrontal cortical, and limbic region function because of alterations in synaptogenesis, dendritic remodeling, and neurogenesis. Neural changes in TBI and PTSD result from pathophysiological disturbances in metabolic, cytotoxic, inflammatory, and apoptic processes, amongst other mechanisms. Neurotrophins have well-established actions in regulating cell growth and survival, differentiation, apoptosis, and cytoskeleton restructuring. A body of research indicates that dysregulation of neural brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is found in conditions of TBI and PTSD. Induction of BDNF and activation of its intracellular receptors can produce neural regeneration, reconnection, and dendritic sprouting, and can improve synaptic efficacy. In this review, we consider treatment approaches that enhance BDNF-related signaling and have the potential to restore neural connectivity. Such treatment approaches could facilitate neuroplastic changes that lead to adaptive neural repair and reverse cognitive and emotional deficits in both TBI and PTSD.Behavioural pharmacology 09/2010; 21(5-6):427-37. DOI:10.1097/FBP.0b013e32833d8bc9 · 2.19 Impact Factor