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Psychiatry Res. 2003 Sep 30;124(1):1-10.

Hypoactivation of the prefrontal cortex during verbal fluency test in PTSD: a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.


Several studies have suggested that there is frontal dysfunction in subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We investigated the relationship between alterations of the hemodynamic response of the prefrontal cortex during a cognitive task (verbal fluency task; VFT) and memory function measured using the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R). The subjects were victims of the Tokyo Subway Sarin attack with (n = 8) or without (n = 26) PTSD. Hemodynamic response in the prefrontal cortex was measured using a 24-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system. Subjects with PTSD had a significantly smaller response of oxygenated hemoglobin and total hemoglobin during the VFT compared with those without PTSD, although there was no significant difference in performance on the VFT. Subjects with PTSD had significantly lower scores on attention and concentration in the WMS-R, which was positively correlated with the increase of total hemoglobin during the VFT. The 'frontal dysfunction' observed in subjects with PTSD may be a secondary phenomenon to reduced attentional capacity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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