Size Versus Shape Differences: Contrasting Voxel-Based and Volumetric Analyses of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Individuals with Acute Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Douglas Hospital Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 08/2005; 58(2):119-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.02.032
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Two studies found morphological differences in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of individuals with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We sought to replicate and extend these findings in a sample of individuals with acute PTSD.
The ACCs of individuals with acute PTSD (n = 14) and matched healthy control subjects (n = 14) were compared using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), semi-automated volumetric analyses, and probabilistic maps. Posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis was ascertained by a psychologist using a structured interview.
Voxel-based morphometry analyses revealed significantly less gray-matter density in the right pregenual ACC and in the left insula of the PTSD group. However, volumetric analyses of the ACC revealed no significant differences between groups. Probabilistic maps of the labels of the pregenual ACC indicated that the difference between groups in gray matter density was due to shape differences.
Although there are no volumetric differences in the ACC of acute PTSD individuals compared with normal control subjects, significant shape differences exist, which might indicate volumetric differences in the surrounding structures.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Evidence from previous anatomical studies indicate that widespread brain regions are involved in the pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of the present study was to quantitatively integrate the literature on structural abnormalities seen on individuals with PTSD. Twenty voxel-based analysis studies were analysed through a comprehensive series of meta-analyses. Compared with healthy controls, PTSD patients showed a significant reduction in grey matter (GM) in the left anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC) at the whole-brain level. Several brain regions, including the left ACC, the left insula and the right parahippocampal gyrus were significantly smaller in individuals with PTSD than in trauma-exposed healthy subjects. Furthermore, the clinician-administered PTSD scale scores were negatively correlated with GM in the left ACC and positively correlated with GM in the left insula. In addition, PTSD patients who experienced accidental or non-accidental trauma had anatomical changes in different brain regions. These results suggest that the smaller ACC and insular cortex within the limbic-prefrontal circuit contribute to the pathogenesis of PTSD. Moreover, the PTSD patients with different types of trauma may have different cerebral deficits.
    Behavioural Brain Research 05/2014; 270. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.05.021 · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a heterogeneous disorder that affects individuals exposed to trauma (e.g., combat, interpersonal violence, and natural disasters). Although its diagnostic features have been recently reclassified with the emergence of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, the disorder remains characterized by hyperarousal, intrusive reminders of the trauma, avoidance of trauma-related cues, and negative cognition and mood. This heterogeneity indicates the presence of multiple neurobiological mechanisms underlying the etiology and maintenance of PTSD. Translational research spanning the past few decades has revealed several potential avenues for the identification of diagnostic biomarkers for PTSD. These include, but are not limited to, monoaminergic transmitter systems, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, metabolic hormonal pathways, inflammatory mechanisms, psychophysiological reactivity, and neural circuits. The current review provides an update to the literature with regard to the most promising putative PTSD biomarkers, with specific emphasis on the interaction between neurobiological influences on disease risk and symptom progression. Such biomarkers will most likely be identified by multi-dimensional models derived from comprehensive descriptions of molecular, neurobiological, behavioral, and clinical phenotypes. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. All rights reserved.
  • Source