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Evaluation of gray matter reduction in patients with typhoon-related posttraumatic stress disorder using causal network analysis of structural MRI

  • Hui Juan Chen (a1), Rongfeng Qi (a2), Jun Ke (a2) (a3), Jie Qiu (a4), Qiang Xu (a2), Yuan Zhong (a2), Guang Ming Lu (a2) and Feng Chen (a1)...

Abstract

Background

The structural changes recent-onset posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) subjects were rarely investigated. This study was to compare temporal and causal relationships of structural changes in recent-onset PTSD with trauma-exposed control (TEC) subjects and non-TEC subjects.

Methods

T1-weighted magnetic resonance images of 27 PTSD, 33 TEC and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy control (HC) subjects were studied. The causal network of structural covariance was used to evaluate the causal relationships of structural changes in PTSD patients.

Results

Volumes of bilateral hippocampal and left lingual gyrus were significantly smaller in PTSD patients and TEC subjects than HC subjects. As symptom scores increase, reduction in gray matter volume began in the hippocampus and progressed to the frontal lobe, then to the temporal and occipital cortices (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). The hippocampus might be the primary hub of the directional network and demonstrated positive causal effects on the frontal, temporal and occipital regions (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). The frontal regions, which were identified to be transitional points, projected causal effects to the occipital lobe and temporal regions and received causal effects from the hippocampus (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected).

Conclusions

The results offer evidence of localized abnormalities in the bilateral hippocampus and remote abnormalities in multiple temporal and frontal regions in typhoon-exposed PTSD patients.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Feng Chen, E-mail: fenger0802@163.com

Footnotes

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*

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Footnotes

References

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Evaluation of gray matter reduction in patients with typhoon-related posttraumatic stress disorder using causal network analysis of structural MRI

  • Hui Juan Chen (a1), Rongfeng Qi (a2), Jun Ke (a2) (a3), Jie Qiu (a4), Qiang Xu (a2), Yuan Zhong (a2), Guang Ming Lu (a2) and Feng Chen (a1)...

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