Brain Topography

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 405–411 | Cite as

Abnormal Functional Connectivity Density in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Youxue Zhang
  • Bing Xie
  • Heng Chen
  • Meiling Li
  • Feng Liu
  • Huafu ChenEmail author
Original Paper


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that occurs in individuals who have experienced life-threatening mental traumas. Previous neuroimaging studies have indicated that the pathology of PTSD may be associated with the abnormal functional integration among brain regions. In the current study, we used functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping, a novel voxel-wise data-driven approach based on graph theory, to explore aberrant FC through the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging of the PTSD. We calculated both short- and long-range FCD in PTSD patients and healthy controls (HCs). Compared with HCs, PTSD patients showed significantly increased long-range FCD in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), but no abnormal short-range FCD was found in PTSD. Furthermore, seed-based FC analysis of the left DLPFC showed increased connectivity in the left superior parietal lobe and visual cortex of PTSD patients. The results suggested that PTSD patients experienced a disruption of intrinsic long-range functional connections in the fronto-parietal network and visual cortex, which are associated with attention control and visual information processing.


Post-traumatic stress disorder Functional connectivity density Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex 



The authors thank all individuals who served as the research participants. The work is supported by the 973 project (2012CB517901), 863 project (2015AA020505), the Natural Science Foundation of China (61533006, 61125304 and 81501451), the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (No. 20120185110028) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (ZYGX2013Z004).

Author Contributors

Huafu Chen designed the study and Bing Xie collected the original imaging data. Youxue Zhang, Feng Liu, Heng Chen, Meiling Li managed and analyzed the imaging data. Youxue Zhang wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest declared.

Supplementary material

10548_2016_472_MOESM1_ESM.docx (341 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 341 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Youxue Zhang
    • 1
  • Bing Xie
    • 2
  • Heng Chen
    • 1
  • Meiling Li
    • 1
  • Feng Liu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Huafu Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Information in BioMedicine, Key Laboratory for Neuroinformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and TechnologyUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of AnatomyThird Military Medical UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Radiology and Tianjin Key Laboratory of Functional ImagingTianjin Medical University General HospitalTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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