To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
A major obstacle in understanding and treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is its clinical and neurobiological heterogeneity. To address this barrier, the field has become increasingly interested in identifying subtypes of PTSD based on dysfunction in neural networks alongside cognitive impairments that may underlie the development and maintenance of symptoms. The current study aimed to determine if subtypes of PTSD, based on normative-based cognitive dysfunction across multiple domains, have unique neural network signatures.
In a sample of 271 veterans (90% male) that completed both neuropsychological testing and resting-state fMRI, two complementary, whole-brain functional connectivity analyses explored the link between brain functioning, PTSD symptoms, and cognition.
At the network level, PTSD symptom severity was associated with reduced negative coupling between the limbic network (LN) and frontal-parietal control network (FPCN), driven specifically by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and amygdala Hubs of Dysfunction. Further, this relationship was uniquely moderated by executive function (EF). Specifically, those with PTSD and impaired EF had the strongest marker of LN-FPCN dysregulation, while those with above-average EF did not exhibit PTSD-related dysregulation of these networks.
These results suggest that poor executive functioning, alongside LN-FPCN dysregulation, may represent a neurocognitive subtype of PTSD.
Recent studies suggest that close-range blast exposure (CBE), regardless of acute concussive symptoms, may have negative long-term effects on brain health and cognition; however, these effects are highly variable across individuals. One potential genetic risk factor that may impact recovery and explain the heterogeneity of blast injury’s long-term cognitive outcomes is the inheritance of an apolipoprotein (APOE) ε4 allele, a well-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that APOE ε4 carrier status would moderate the impact of CBE on long-term cognitive outcomes.
To test this hypothesis, we examined 488 post-9/11 veterans who completed assessments of neuropsychological functioning, psychiatric diagnoses, history of blast exposure, military and non-military mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), and available APOE genotypes. We separately examined the effects of CBE on attention, memory, and executive functioning in individuals with and without the APOE ε4 allele.
As predicted, we observed a differential impact of CBE status on cognition as a function of APOE ε4 status, in which CBE ε4 carriers displayed significantly worse neuropsychological performance, specifically in the domain of memory. These results persisted after adjusting for clinical, demographic, and genetic factors and were not observed when examining other neurotrauma variables (i.e., lifetime or military mTBI, distant blast exposure), though these variables displayed similar trends.
These results suggest APOE ε4 carriers are more vulnerable to the impact of CBE on cognition and highlight the importance of considering genetic risk when studying cognitive effects of neurotrauma.
Although there is mounting evidence that greater PTSD symptoms are associated with reduced executive functioning, it is not fully understood whether this association is more global or specific to certain executive function subdomains, such as inhibitory control. We investigated the generality of the association between PTSD symptoms and executive function by administering a broad battery of sensitive executive functioning tasks to a cohort of returning Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans with varying PTSD symptoms. Only tasks related to inhibitory control explained significant variance in PTSD symptoms as well as symptoms of depression, while measures of working memory, measures of switching, and measures simultaneously assessing multiple executive function subdomains did not. Notably, the two inhibitory control measures that showed the highest correlation with PTSD and depressive symptoms, measures of response inhibition and distractor suppression, explained independent variance. These findings suggest that greater posttraumatic psychological symptoms are not associated with a general decline in executive functioning but rather are more specifically related to stopping automatic responses and resisting internal and external distractions. (JINS, 2015, 21, 342–352)
Research has shown that attention can be abnormally drawn to salient threat- or trauma-related information in individuals with posttraumatic stress and related psychological symptoms. The nature of this attentional bias is thought to derive from capture of attention toward potential threat overpowering the volitional, goal-directed attentional system. However, it is unclear whether this pattern of attentional dysregulation generalizes to salient, but non-emotional types of information. Using a well-established and sensitive measure of attentional capture, the current study demonstrates that posttraumatic psychological symptom severity is associated with the capture of attention by visually salient, non-emotional distractors. Specifically, during visual search for a unique shape, the presence of a task-irrelevant but salient color singleton disrupted search efficiency, and this disruption was correlated with both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptom severity as assessed by self-report. These findings suggest that posttraumatic stress and depression may be characterized as involving a general alteration of the balance between salience-based and goal-directed attentional systems. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–6)
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.