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Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Sep 1;68(5):494-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.035. Epub 2010 Jul 3.

Insomnia severity is associated with a decreased volume of the CA3/dentate gyrus hippocampal subfield.

Author information

1
Mental Health Service, DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94121, USA. Thomas.Neylan@ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prolonged disruption of sleep in animal studies is associated with decreased neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Our objective was to determine whether insomnia severity in a sample of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients and control subjects was associated with decreased volume in the CA3/dentate hippocampal subfield.

METHODS:

Volumes of hippocampal subfields in 17 veteran men positive for PTSD (41 +/- 12 years) and 19 age-matched male veterans negative for PTSD were measured with 4-T magnetic resonance imaging. Subjective sleep quality was measured by the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

RESULTS:

Higher scores on the ISI, indicating worse insomnia, were associated with smaller volumes of the CA3/dentate subfields (r = -.48, p < .01) in the combined sample. Adding the ISI score as a predictor for CA3/dentate volume to a hierarchical linear regression model after first controlling for age and PTSD symptoms accounted for a 13% increase in incremental variance (t = -2.47, p = .02).

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings indicate for the first time in humans that insomnia severity is associated with volume loss of the CA3/dentate subfields. This is consistent with animal studies showing that chronic sleep disruption is associated with decreased neurogenesis and dendritic branching in these structures.

PMID:
20598672
PMCID:
PMC2921477
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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