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Microstructural abnormalities in children with post-traumatic stress disorder: a diffusion tensor imaging study at 3.0T.


ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder characterized by re-experiencing, avoidance and hyperarousal. Brain microstructure abnormalities in PTSD, especially in children, are not yet well characterized. The aim of this study was to use MR diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to identify brain microstructure alterations in children with PTSD compared to non-PTSD controls who experienced the same time-limited trauma. We studied 27 children with PTSD and 24 age- and gender-matched traumatized controls without PTSD, who all experienced the 2008 Sichuan major earthquake. DTI data were acquired and analyzed in terms of fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD). Children with PTSD showed an abnormal pattern, not only of FA, but also of the diffusivity measures MD, AD and RD. Most of the abnormal brain regions belonged to two important networks: the default-mode network, including precuneus and angular gyrus, and the salience network, including insula, putamen and thalamus. This DTI study identifies microstructural abnormalities of children with PTSD after a major earthquake, our results are consistent with the suggestion that pediatric PTSD is accompanied by a connectivity disequilibrium between the salience and default-mode networks, a finding of potential pathophysiological significance.

SUBMITTER: Lei D 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4355726 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.1038/srep08933

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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