Grey matter changes in posterior cingulate and limbic cortex in PTSD are associated with trauma load and EMDR outcome

There is converging evidence of gray matter (GM) structural alterations in different limbic structures in
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate GM density in PTSD
in relation to trauma load, and to assess the GM differences between responders (R) and non-responders
(NR) to EMDR therapy. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of 21 subjects exposed to occupational
trauma, who developed PTSD (S), and of 22 who did not (NS), were compared by means of an optimized
Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) analysis as implemented in SPM. Within S, further comparisons were
made between 10 R and 5 NR. A regression analysis between GM density and the Traumatic Antecedents
Questionnaire (TAQ) was also performed on all 43 subjects. Results showed a significantly lower GM den-
sity in S as compared to NS in the left posterior cingulate and the left posterior parahippocampal gyrus.
Moreover, NR showed a significantly lower GM density as compared to R in bilateral posterior cingulate,
as well as anterior insula, anterior parahippocampal gyrus and amygdala in the right hemisphere. Regres-
sion analysis showed that GM density negatively correlated with trauma load in bilateral posterior cin-
gulate, left anterior insula, and right anterior parahippocampal gyrus. In conclusion, a GM lower density
in limbic and paralimbic cortices were found to be associated with PTSD diagnosis, trauma load, and
EMDR treatment outcome, suggesting a view of PTSD characterized by memory and dissociative

Tipo Pubblicazione: 
Author or Creator: 
Nardo D
Högberg G
D, Looi J
Larsson SA
Hällström T
Pagani M
Pergamon Press, Oxford , Regno Unito
Journal of psychiatric research 44 (2010): 477–485.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Nardo D; Högberg G; D, Looi J; Larsson SA; Hällström T; Pagani M/titolo:Grey matter changes in posterior cingulate and limbic cortex in PTSD are associated with trauma load and EMDR outcome/doi:/rivista:Journal of psychiatric re
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Ritratto di Marco Pagani
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