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Neuroimaging and the Neuroanatomy of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • Scott L. Rauch, Lisa M. Shin, Paul J. Whalen and Roger K. Pitman

Abstract

Contemporary neuroimaging methods have been used to gather initial data regarding the neural substrates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Morphometric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have reliably shown reduced hippocampal volume in subjects with PTSD vs control cohorts. Functional imaging studies have implicated a network of brain regions in PTSD, comprising the amygdala, hippocampus, and anterior paralimbic territories (including anterior cingulate cortex), as well as Broca's area and visual cortex. Extant relevant neuroimaging data are reviewed, and a tentative heuristic neuroanatomical model of PTSD is provided. In conclusion, emerging strategies for advancement in this field are outlined.

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