A growing number of studies have examined alterations in white matter organization in people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using diffusion MRI (dMRI), but the results have been mixed which may be partially due to relatively small sample sizes among studies. Altered structural connectivity may be both a neurobiological vulnerability for, and a result of, PTSD. In an effort to find reliable effects, we present a multi-cohort analysis of dMRI metrics across 3047 individuals from 28 cohorts currently participating in the PGC-ENIGMA PTSD working group (a joint partnership between the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and the Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis consortium). Comparing regional white matter metrics across the full brain in 1426 individuals with PTSD and 1621 controls (2174 males/873 females) between ages 18-83, 92% of whom were trauma-exposed, we report associations between PTSD and disrupted white matter organization measured by lower fractional anisotropy (FA) in the tapetum region of the corpus callosum (Cohen's d = -0.11, p = 0.0055). The tapetum connects the left and right hippocampus, for which structure and function have been consistently implicated in PTSD. Results were consistent even after accounting for the effects of multiple potentially confounding variables: childhood trauma exposure, comorbid depression, history of traumatic brain injury, current alcohol abuse or dependence, and current use of psychotropic medications. Our results show that PTSD may be associated with alterations in the broader hippocampal network.
Smaller Hippocampal Volume in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Multisite ENIGMA-PGC Study: Subcortical Volumetry Results From Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Consortia.Biol Psychiatry. 2018 Feb 1;83(3):244-253. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Sep 20. Biol Psychiatry. 2018. PMID: 29217296 Free PMC article. Clinical Trial.
Mild traumatic brain injury impacts associations between limbic system microstructure and post-traumatic stress disorder symptomatology.Neuroimage Clin. 2020 Jan 22;26:102190. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2020.102190. Online ahead of print. Neuroimage Clin. 2020. PMID: 32070813 Free PMC article.
Posttraumatic stress disorder, symptoms, and white matter abnormalities among combat-exposed veterans.Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Aug;12(4):989-999. doi: 10.1007/s11682-017-9759-y. Brain Imaging Behav. 2018. PMID: 28823023
White matter microstructural alterations in posttraumatic stress disorder: An ROI and whole-brain based meta-analysis.J Affect Disord. 2020 Apr 1;266:655-670. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.01.047. Epub 2020 Jan 16. J Affect Disord. 2020. PMID: 32056942 Review.
[Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a consequence of the interaction between an individual genetic susceptibility, a traumatogenic event and a social context].Encephale. 2012 Oct;38(5):373-80. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2011.12.003. Epub 2012 Jan 24. Encephale. 2012. PMID: 23062450 Review. French.
Cited by 1 article
ENIGMA and global neuroscience: A decade of large-scale studies of the brain in health and disease across more than 40 countries.Transl Psychiatry. 2020 Mar 20;10(1):100. doi: 10.1038/s41398-020-0705-1. Transl Psychiatry. 2020. PMID: 32198361 Free PMC article. Review.
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