Abnormal Functional Connectivity Density in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
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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.
KeywordsPost-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).
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.
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