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Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Dec 15;46(12):1656-64.

Sensory gating in chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: reduced auditory P50 suppression in combat veterans.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be associated with a general impairment of cognitive function that extends beyond the processing of trauma-specific stimuli. Suppression of the auditory P50 response to repeated stimuli occurs in normal subjects and reflects the central nervous system's ability to screen out repetitive stimuli, a phenomenon referred to as sensory gating. This study examines P50 sensory gating to nonstartle auditory stimuli in PTSD subjects and normal controls.

METHODS:

P50 generation and gating were studied using a conditioning/testing paradigm in 15 male subjects with PTSD and 12 male controls. P50 test/conditioning (T/C) ratios were estimated using the Singular Value Decomposition method.

RESULTS:

The amplitude of the P50 response to the conditioning stimulus did not differ in subjects with PTSD compared to normal controls. The P50 T/C ratio is increased in PTSD subjects (mean = .408, SD = .275) as compared to the controls (mean = .213, SD = .126, two tailed t, p = .024).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides evidence that PTSD is associated with impaired gating to nonstartle trauma-neutral auditory stimuli.

PMID:
10624547
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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