Associations between resting-state functional connectivity and treatment response in a randomized clinical trial for posttraumatic stress disorder. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Alterations in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) have been reported in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here, we examined pre- and post-treatment rsFC during a randomized clinical trial to characterize alterations and examine predictors of treatment response. METHODS: Sixty-four combat veterans with PTSD were randomly assigned to prolonged exposure (PE) plus placebo, sertraline plus enhanced medication management, or PE plus sertraline. Symptom assessment and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans occurred before and after treatment. Twenty-nine trauma-exposed combat veterans without PTSD served as a control group at intake. Seed-based and region of interest (ROI)-to-ROI connectivities, as well as an exploratory connectome-based approach were used to analyze rsFC patterns. Based on previously reported findings, analyses focused on Salience Network (SN) and Default-Mode Network (DMN). RESULTS: At intake, patients with PTSD showed greater DMN-dorsal attention network (DAN) connectivity (between ventromedial prefrontal cortex and superior parietal lobule; family-wise error corrected p=.011), greater SN-DAN connectivity (between insula and middle frontal gyrus; corrected p=.003), and a negative correlation between re-experiencing symptoms and within-DMN connectivity (between posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and middle temporal gyrus; corrected p<.001). We also found preliminary evidence for associations between rsFC and treatment response. Specifically, high responders (50% PTSD symptom improvement), compared with low responders, had greater SN-DMN segregation (i.e., less pre-treatment amygdala-PCC connectivity; p=.011) and lower pre-treatment global centrality (p=.042). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest neural abnormalities in PTSD and may inform future research examining neural biomarkers of PTSD treatment response.

published proceedings

  • Depress Anxiety

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Sheynin, J., Duval, E. R., King, A. P., Angstadt, M., Phan, K. L., Simon, N. M., Rauch, S., & Liberzon, I.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Sheynin, Jony||Duval, Elizabeth R||King, Anthony P||Angstadt, Mike||Phan, K Luan||Simon, Naomi M||Rauch, Sheila AM||Liberzon, Israel

publication date

  • October 2020