Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Mar 15;69(6):541-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.09.044. Epub 2010 Nov 20.

Hippocampal volume differences in Gulf War veterans with current versus lifetime posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA. brigitte.apfel@ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Decreased hippocampal volume is described in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. However, it is not known whether it is a risk factor for the development of PTSD or a consequence of PTSD. We sought to determine the effects of PTSD and depressive symptoms on hippocampal volume.

METHODS:

Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging data were collected in a cross sectional study of 244 Gulf War veterans. Measures included lifetime and current Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, Hamilton Depression Scale, Life Stressor Checklist, and Lifetime Drinking History. Magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired with a 1.5-T scanner and analyzed with automated and semiautomated image processing techniques.

RESULTS:

Eighty-two veterans had lifetime PTSD, 44 had current PTSD, and 38 had current depression. In the linear regression analysis, current PTSD symptoms (standardized coefficient β = -.25, p = .03) but neither lifetime PTSD symptoms nor current depression were associated with smaller hippocampal volume. Gender, age, history of early life trauma, education, lifetime and current alcohol use, current marijuana use, and treatment with antidepressants did not have independent effects. Participants with chronic PTSD had, on average, a smaller hippocampus compared with those with remitted PTSD.

CONCLUSIONS:

The finding that current but not lifetime PTSD symptom severity explains hippocampal size raises two possibilities: either a small hippocampus is a risk factor for lack of recovery from PTSD (trait) or PTSD effects on hippocampal volume are reversible once PTSD symptoms remit and the patient recovers (state).

Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21094937
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3259803
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk