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65 The Impact of PTSD and Mild Cognitive Impairment on Resting State Brain Functional Connectivity in World Trade Center Responders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2023

Sara L. Weisenbach*
Affiliation:
McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA, USA. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Sean A. P. Clouston
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Jack R. Kaufman
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Vincent Koppelmans
Affiliation:
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Scott A. Langenecker
Affiliation:
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Alison C. Pellecchia
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Abigail J. Smith
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Melissa A. Carr
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Chuan Huang
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Evelyn J. Bromet
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Nikhil Palekar
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
Robert C. Welsh
Affiliation:
UCLA, LA, California, USA.
Benjamin J. Luft
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
*
Correspondence: Sara L. Weisenbach, Ph.D., ABPP, McLean Hospital & Harvard Medical School; Stony Brook University (sweisenbach@partners.org)
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Abstract

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Objective:

Functional connectivity of the default mode network (DMN) during rest has been shown to be different among adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) relative to aged-matched individuals without MCI and is predictive of transition to dementia. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also associated with aberrant connectivity of the DMN. Prior work from this group has demonstrated a higher rate of MCI and PTSD among World Trade Center (WTC) responders relative to the general population. The current study sought to investigate the main and interactive effects of MCI and PTSD on DMN functioning. Based on prior work, we hypothesized that MCI, but not PTSD, would predict aberrant connectivity in the DMN.

Participants and Methods:

99 WTC responders aged 44–65 stratified by MCI status (yes/no) and PTSD status (yes/no) and matched for age in years, sex (male vs. female), race (white, black, and other), and educational attainment (high school or less, some college / technical school, and university degree), and occupation on September 11, 2001 (law enforcement vs. other) underwent fMRI using a 3T Siemens Biograph MR scanner. A single 10-minute continuous functional MR sequence was acquired while participants were at rest with their eyes open. Group-level analyses were conducted using SPM-12, with correction for multiple comparisons using AFNI's 3dClustSim. Based on this threshold, the number of comparisons in our imaging volume, and the smoothness of our imaging data as measured by 3dFWHMx-acf, a minimum cluster size of 1134 voxels was required to have a corrected p . .05 with 2-sided thresholding. Spherical 3 mm seeds were placed in the dorsal (4, -50, 26) and ventral (4, -60, 46) posterior cingulate cortex (PCC).

Results:

Individuals with PTSD demonstrated significantly less connectivity of the dorsal posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) with medial insula (T = 5.21), subthalamic nucleus (T = 4.66), and postcentral gyrus (T = 3.81). There was no difference found in this study for connectivity between groups stratified by MCI status. There were no significant results for the ventral PCC seed.

Conclusions:

Contrary to hypotheses that were driven by a study of cortical thickness in WTC responders, the impact of PTSD appears to outweigh the impact of MCI on dorsal DMN connectivity among WTC responders stratified by PTSD and MCI status. This study is limited by several issues, including low number of female and minority participants, relatively small group cell sizes (n = 23–27 per cell), a brief resting state sequence (10 minutes), and lack of a non-WTC control group. Importantly, responders are a unique population so generalizability to other populations may be limited. Individuals in the current study are now being followed longitudinally to relate baseline resting state functional connectivity with cognitive changes and changes in connectivity over a four-year period.

Type
Poster Session 09: Psychiatric Disorders | Mood & Anxiety Disorders | Addiction | Social Cognition | Cognitive Neuroscience | Emotional and Social Processing
Copyright
Copyright © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2023