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.

altmetric score

  • 0.25

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

  • 3

publication date

  • July 2020