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J Trauma Stress. 2004 Feb;17(1):41-6.

Attention, learning, and memory in posttraumatic stress disorder.

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Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA.


This study compared attention and declarative memory in a sample of combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD, n = 24) previously reported to have reduced concentrations of the hippocampal neuronal marker N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), but similar hippocampal volume compared to veteran normal comparison participants (n = 23). Healthy, well-educated males with combat-related PTSD without current depression or recent alcohol/drug abuse did not perform differently on tests of attention, learning, and memory compared to normal comparison participants. Further, hippocampal volume, NAA, or NAA/Creatine ratios did not significantly correlate with any of the cognitive measures when adjustments for multiple comparisons were made. In this study, reduced hippocampal NAA did not appear to be associated with impaired declarative memory.

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