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: 5.61). 06/2009; 121(1):33-40. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01391.x
Source: PubMed


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.

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Available from: Richard Jim Neufeld, May 06, 2014
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    • "There was a remarkable convergence of findings from both the precuneus and mPFC seeds, suggesting a common focal network disruption confined to the DMN following combat trauma. While several studies have reported DMN abnormalities in people with PTSD, e.g.,[3,4], our results suggest that the combat trauma, as opposed to the diagnosis of PTSD alone, is associated with resting state disruptions. To date, only two other studies have seeded the DMN in combat veterans with PTSD[6,7].Spirada et al (2012)found that veterans with PTSD showed increased FC between the PCC seed and the right putamen as well as the right insula.Yan et al. (2014)found PTSD to be associated with less precuneus-mPFC connectivity, but found no group differences in precuneal–amygdala functional connectivity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies show decreased functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) in PTSD; however, few have directly examined combat trauma specifically. There is limited understanding of how combat itself may affect the DMN. Some literature suggests that trauma exposure, rather than PTSD, can disrupt the DMN. To further elucidate the effect of trauma and PTSD on the DMN, we investigated DMN functional connectivity during the resting-state in veterans with PTSD, combat-exposed controls, and never-traumatized healthy controls. Results revealed that DMN connectivity was reduced in veterans exposed to combat trauma with and without PTSD compared to healthy civilian controls. Specifically, both groups of veterans demonstrated weaker connectivity within a network involving the precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and right superior parietal lobule regardless of whether the mPFC or precuneus was chosen as a seed region. Findings suggest that the experience of trauma, rather than the pathology of PTSD, may be related to DMN changes.
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    • "Resting-state fMRI provides a useful platform to study individual differences in connectivity in both clinical and non-clinical populations. So far, anxiety researchers have primarily considered the possibility of intrinsic connectivity differences in psychopathology, such as individuals with social anxiety disorder (Liao et al. 2010a, b; Ding et al. 2011; Hahn et al. 2011; Anteraper et al. 2014), obsessive compulsive disorder (Jang et al. 2010) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Bonne et al. 2003; Gilboa et al. 2004; Bluhm et al. 2009; Lanius et al. 2010; Rabinak et al. 2011; Sripada et al. 2012). However, individual differences in intrinsic connectivity may be a pre-existing risk factor for the development of an anxiety disorder. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study characterized cerebellar connectivity with executive intrinsic functional connectivity networks. Using seed regions at the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (dlPFC) and right orbital frontoinsula, we measured resting-state brain connectivity in healthy college-aged participants. Based on the previous research demonstrating a relationship between the cerebellum and self-report measures of behavioral inhibition, we assessed individual differences in connectivity between groups. Overall, intrinsic activity in cerebellar lobule VIII was significantly correlated with the executive network and cerebellar Crus I with the salience network. Between-group comparisons indicated stronger cerebellar connectivity with the executive network in behaviorally inhibited individuals. Intrinsic activity in Crus I, a region previously implicated in non-motor cerebellar functions, significantly correlated with intrinsic activity in the right dlPFC seed region. These findings support a growing number of studies demonstrating cerebellar influence on higher cognitive processes, extending this relationship to individual differences in anxiety vulnerability.
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    • "Studies investigating REM sleep before and after EMDR therapy would help answer the question of whether EMDR stabilizes altered REM sleep architecture. Likewise, although fMRI studies are scarce in EMDR, this strategy could help to better understand the brain changes associated with PTSD and the effects of therapy (Daniels et al., 2010; Lanius et al., 2010). For instance, a recently published case report of a bipolar subsyndromal, traumatized patient showed striking improvements in the Default Mode Network after EMDR therapy , suggesting therapy had a modulating effect (Landin-Romero et al., 2013). "

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