by Yan Zhou, Zhen Wang, Ling-di Qin, Jie-qing Wan, Ya-wen Sun, Shan-shan Su, Wei-na Ding, Jian-rong Xu
The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between resting-state functional connectivity and the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in 15 people who developed PTSD following recent trauma. Fifteen participants who experienced acute traumatic events underwent a 7.3-min resting functional magnetic resonance imaging scan within 2 days post-event. All the patients were diagnosed with PTSD within 1 to 6 months after trauma. Brain areas in which activity was correlated with that of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) were assessed. To assess the relationship between the severity of PTSD symptoms and PCC connectivity, contrast images representing areas positively correlated with the PCC were correlated with the subject’s Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale scores (CAPS) when they were diagnosed. Furthermore, the PCC, medial prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala were selected to assess the correlation of the strength of functional connectivity with the CAPS. Resting state connectivity with the PCC was negatively correlated with CAPS scores in the left superior temporal gyrus and right hippocampus/amygdala. Furthermore, the strength of connectivity between the PCC and bilateral amygdala, and even between the bilateral amygdala could predict the severity of PTSD symptoms later. These results suggest that early altered resting-state functional connectivity of the PCC with the left superior temporal gyrus, right hippocampus and amygdala could predict the severity of the disease and may be a major risk factor that predisposes patients to develop PTSD.