Caudate volumes in public transportation workers exposed to trauma in the Stockholm train system

The caudate nucleus is a structure implicated in the neural circuitry of psychological responses to trauma. This study aimed to quantify
the volume of the caudate in persons exposed to trauma. Thirty-six subjects under 65 were recruited from transport workers in Stockholm
who reported having been unintentionally responsible for a person-under-the-train accident or among employees having experienced an
assault in their work (1999–2001) between 3 months and 6 years before MRI scanning. In those exposed to the trauma, a DSM-IV
diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) wasmade by an independent psychiatrist,with subjects being classified as PTSD or no
PTSD.MRI datawere analyzed blindly to all clinical information by an experienced rater using a standardizedmanual tracing protocol to
quantify the volume of the caudate.Within-group comparisons of PTSD (n=19) and no PTSD (n=17) found the right caudate nucleus to
be significantly (9%) larger than the left: a right hemisphere baseline asymmetry.Amultivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA)was
conducted to assess the volume of the caudate nucleus (right and left) in relation to the diagnosis of no PTSD (n=17) or PTSD (n=19).
After adjustment for the covariates (age, sex, intracranial volume, years since trauma, and number of trauma episodes), there was a
significant difference in raw right caudate nucleus volume between subjects with PTSD compared with those without PTSD. Volume of
the left caudate nucleus was not significantly different between the PTSD and no PTSD groups. The right caudate volume in the PTSD
group was 9% greater compared with the no PTSD group. There is a larger right hemisphere volume of the caudate within those exposed
to trauma with active PTSD compared with those without PTSD, superimposed upon a baseline caudate asymmetry.

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Looi JCL
Mallerc JJ
Pagani M
Högberg G
Lindberg O
Liberg B
Botes L
Engman EL
Zhang Y
Svensson L
Wahlund LO
Elsevier Scientific Publishers Ireland, Shannon , Paesi Bassi
Psychiatry research. Neuroimaging (Print) 171 (2009): 138–143. doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2008.03.011
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Looi JCL, Mallerc JJ, Pagani M, Högberg G, Lindberg O, Liberg B, Botes L, Engman EL, Zhang Y, Svensson L, Wahlund LO/titolo:Caudate volumes in public transportation workers exposed to trauma in the Stockholm train system/doi:10.
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Ritratto di Marco Pagani
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