Abnormal recruitment of working memory updating networks during maintenance of trauma-neutral information in post-traumatic stress disorder.
ABSTRACT Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterised by disturbances in concentration and memory, symptoms which are a source of further distress for patients. Related to this, abnormalities in underlying working memory (WM) systems have been identified [Clark, C.R., McFarlane, A.C., Morris, P., Weber, D.L., Sonkkilla, C., Shaw, M.E., Marcina, J., Tochon-Danguy, H.J., Egan, G.F., 2003. Cerebral function in posttraumatic stress disorder during verbal working memory updating: a positron emission tomography study. Biological Psychiatry 53, 474-481.], indicating dysfunction in left hemisphere brain regions. In this study, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 13 patients with severe PTSD and matched non-traumatized Controls, during performance of visuo-verbal tasks that involved either maintenance or continual updating of word stimuli in WM. The PTSD group failed to show differential activation during WM updating, and instead appeared to show abnormal recruitment of WM updating network regions during WM maintenance. These regions included the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the inferior parietal lobe (IPL). Several other regions were significantly more activated in Controls than in PTSD during WM updating, including the hippocampus, the anterior cingulate (AC), and the brainstem pons, key regions that are consistently implicated in the neurobiology of PTSD. These findings suggest compensatory recruitment of networks in PTSD normally only deployed during updating of WM and may reflect PTSD patients' difficulty engaging with their day-to-day environment.
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ABSTRACT: Frontal alpha asymmetry, a biomarker derived from electroencephalography (EEG) recordings, has often been associated with psychological adjustment, with more left-sided frontal activity predicting approach motivation and lower levels of depression and anxiety. This suggests high relevance to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorder comprising anxiety and dysphoria symptoms. We review this relationship and show that frontal asymmetry can be plausibly linked to neuropsychological abnormalities seen in PTSD. However, surprisingly few studies (k=8) have directly addressed frontal asymmetry in PTSD, mostly reporting that trait frontal asymmetry has little (if any) predictive value. Meanwhile, preliminary evidence suggest that state-dependent asymmetry during trauma-relevant stimulation distinguishes PTSD patients from resilient individuals. Thus, exploring links between provocation-induced EEG asymmetry and PTSD appears particularly promising. Additionally, we recommend more fine-grained analyses into PTSD symptom clusters in relation to frontal asymmetry. Finally, we highlight hypotheses that may guide future research and help to fully apprehend the practical and theoretical relevance of this biological marker. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.Biological psychology 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2015.03.018 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a leading cause of sustained impairment, distress, and poor quality of life in military personnel, veterans, and civilians. Indirect functional neuroimaging studies using PET or fMRI with fear-related stimuli support a PTSD neurocircuitry model that includes amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, it is not clear if this model can fully account for PTSD abnormalities detected directly by electromagnetic-based source imaging techniques in resting-state. The present study examined resting-state magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals in 25 active-duty service members and veterans with PTSD and 30 healthy volunteers. In contrast to the healthy volunteers, individuals with PTSD showed: 1) hyperactivity from amygdala, hippocampus, posterolateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and insular cortex in high-frequency (i.e., beta, gamma, and high-gamma) bands; 2) hypoactivity from vmPFC, Frontal Pole (FP), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in high-frequency bands; 3) extensive hypoactivity from dlPFC, FP, anterior temporal lobes, precuneous cortex, and sensorimotor cortex in alpha and low-frequency bands; and 4) in individuals with PTSD, MEG activity in the left amygdala and posterolateral OFC correlated positively with PTSD symptom scores, whereas MEG activity in vmPFC and precuneous correlated negatively with symptom score. The present study showed that MEG source imaging technique revealed new abnormalities in the resting-state electromagnetic signals from the PTSD neurocircuitry. Particularly, posterolateral OFC and precuneous may play important roles in the PTSD neurocircuitry model.08/2014; 5. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.08.004
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ABSTRACT: Thirty to fifty percent of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients do not respond to treatment. Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying treatment response could contribute to improve response rates. PTSD is often associated with decreased inhibition of fear responses in a safe environment. Importantly, the mechanism of effective treatment (psychotherapy) relies on inhibition and so-called contextual cue processing. Therefore, we investigate inhibition and contextual cue processing in the context of treatment. Forty-one male war veterans with PTSD and 22 healthy male war veterans (combat controls) were scanned twice with a six to eight month interval, in which PTSD patients received treatment (psychotherapy). We distinguished treatment responders from non-responders on the base of percentage symptom decrease. Inhibition and contextual cue processing were assessed with the stop-signal anticipation task. Behavioral and functional MRI measures were compared between PTSD patients and combat controls, and between responders and non-responders using repeated measures analyses. PTSD patients showed behavioral and neural deficits in inhibition and contextual cue processing at both time points compared to combat controls. These deficits were unaffected by treatment, therefore, they likely represent vulnerability factors or scar aspects of PTSD. Second, responders showed increased pre-treatment activation of the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) during contextual cue processing compared to non-responders. Moreover, left IPL activation predicted percentage symptom improvement. The IPL plays an important role in contextual cue processing, and may therefore facilitate the effect of psychotherapy. Hence, increased left IPL activation may represent a potential predictive biomarker for PTSD treatment response.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 26 August 2014. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.220. http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v40/n3/full/npp2014220a.htmlNeuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 08/2014; 40(3). DOI:10.1038/npp.2014.220 · 7.83 Impact Factor