HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Connectome-wide investigation of altered resting-state functional connectivity in war veterans with and without posttraumatic stress disorder

Article

PTSD resting-state connectivity was examined with connectome-wide analysis.

Abstract

Abstract Altered resting-state functional connectivity in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suggests neuropathology of the disorder. While seed-based fMRI connectivity analysis is often used for the studies, such analysis requires defining a seed location a priori, which restricts search scope and could bias findings toward presupposed areas. Recently, a comprehensive exploratory voxel-wise connectivity analysis, the connectome-wide association approach, has been introduced using multivariate distance matrix regression (MDMR) for resting-state functional connectivity analysis. The current study performed a connectome-wide investigation of resting-state functional connectivity for war veterans with and without PTSD compared to non-trauma-exposed healthy controls using MDMR. Thirty-five male combat veterans with PTSD (unmedicated), 18 male combat veterans without PTSD (veterans control, VC), and 28 age-matched non-trauma-exposed healthy males (NC) participated in a resting-state fMRI scan. MDMR analysis was used to identify between-groups differences in regions with altered connectivity. The identified regions were used as a seed for post-hoc functional connectivity analysis. The analysis revealed that PTSD patients had hypoconnectivity between the left lateral prefrontal regions and the salience network regions as well as hypoconnectivity between the parahippocampal gyrus and the visual cortex areas. Connectivity between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the middle frontal gyrus and between the parahippocampal gyrus and the anterior insula were negatively correlated with PTSD symptom severity. VC subjects also had altered functional connectivity compared to NC, including increased connectivity between the posterior insula and several brain regions and decreased connectivity between the precuneus region and several other brain areas. The decreased connectivity between the lateral prefrontal regions and the salience network regions in PTSD was consistent with previous reports that indicated lowered emotion-regulation function in these regions. The decreased connectivity between the parahippocampal gyrus and visual cortex supported the dual representation theory of PTSD, which suggests dissociation between sensory and contextual memory representations in PTSD. The theory also supposes that the precuneus is a region that triggers retrieval of sensory memory of traumatic events. The decreased connectivity at the precuneus for VC might be associated with suppressing such a process. Highlights PTSD resting-state connectivity was examined with connectome-wide analysis. War veterans with PTSD had hypoconnectivity among emotion-regulation areas. PTSD had hypoconnectivity between parahippocampal and visual cortex regions. War veterans without PTSD had hypoconnectivity at the precuneus region. War veterans without PTSD had hyperconnectivity at the posterior insula.

Full Reference

Misaki, Masaya ; Phillips, Raquel ; Zotev, Vadim ; Wong, Chung-Ki ; Wurfel, Brent E. ; Krueger, Frank ; Feldner, Matthew ; Bodurka, Jerzy. (2018). Connectome-wide investigation of altered resting-state functional connectivity in war veterans with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. NeuroImage.Clinical. Vol 17, p.285-296.