Medial frontal cortex involvement in PTSD symptoms: a spect study
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The regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) responses to a combat stress-related auditory stimulus was examined in Vietnam veterans diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Based on prior data in healthy subjects, we hypothesized that the medial prefrontal cortex may be involved in the processing of stress responses. Twelve male veterans diagnosed with PTSD, 11 age-matched, combat-exposed subjects without PTSD, and 12 healthy control subjects were studied with single-photon emission tomography and the blood flow tracer [99mTc]-HMPAO. Subjects were studied twice, while listening to combat sounds or white noise. Significant increases in the blood flow to the medial prefrontal cortex were observed in PTSD patients, but not in the control groups, which correlated at trend levels with psychophysical measures of stress response. These data support the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex in the pathophysiology of PTSD, possibly mediating some of its symptoms.
author list (cited authors)
Zubieta, J., Chinitz, J. A., Lombardi, U., Fig, L. M., Cameron, O. G., & Liberzon, I.