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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Oct;66(10):1099-107. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.138.

Resting metabolic activity in the cingulate cortex and vulnerability to posttraumatic stress disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Tufts University, 490 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155, USA. lisa.shin@tufts.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Recent neuroimaging research has revealed functional abnormalities in the anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether resting functional abnormalities found in PTSD are acquired characteristics or familial risk factors.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional design including identical twins discordant for trauma exposure.

SETTING:

Academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Combat-exposed veterans with PTSD (n = 14) and their identical co-twins not exposed to combat (n = 14) as well as combat-exposed veterans without PTSD (n = 19) and their identical co-twins not exposed to combat (n = 19).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We used positron emission tomography and fluorodeoxyglucose 18 to examine resting regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose (rCMRglu).

RESULTS:

Veterans with PTSD and their co-twins had significantly higher resting rCMRglu in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/midcingulate cortex (dACC/MCC) compared with veterans without PTSD and their co-twins. Resting rCMRglu in the dACC/MCC in unexposed co-twins was positively correlated with combat exposure severity, PTSD symptom severity, and alcohol use in their exposed twins.

CONCLUSIONS:

Enhanced resting metabolic activity in the dACC/MCC appears to represent a familial risk factor for developing PTSD after exposure to psychological trauma.

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