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Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2016 May 30;251:34-44. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.04.009. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Resting functional connectivity in social anxiety disorder and the effect of pharmacotherapy.

Author information

1
Division of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address: doruyter@sun.ac.za.
2
US/UCT MRC Unit for Stress and Anxiety Disorders, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
4
US/UCT MRC Unit for Stress and Anxiety Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
5
Laboratory for Cognitive Neurology and Medical Imaging Centre, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
6
Division of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

Neuroimaging research has reported differences in resting-state functional connectivity (RFC) between social anxiety disorder (SAD) patients and healthy controls (HCs). Limited research has examined the effect of treatment on RFC in SAD. We performed a study to identify differences in RFC between SAD and HC groups, and to investigate the effect of pharmacotherapy on RFC in SAD. Seed-based RFC analysis was performed on technetium-99m hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (Tc-99m HMPAO) SPECT scans using a cross-subject approach in SPM-12. Seeds were chosen to represent regions in a recently published network model of SAD. A second-level regression analysis was performed to further characterize the underlying relationships identified in the group contrasts. Twenty-three SAD participants were included, of which 18 underwent follow-up measures after an 8-week course of citalopram or moclobemide. Fifteen healthy control (HC) scans were included. SAD participants at baseline demonstrated several significant connectivity disturbances consistent with the existing network model as well as one previously unreported finding (increased connectivity between cerebellum and posterior cingulate cortex). After therapy, the SAD group demonstrated significant increases in connectivity with dorsal anterior cingulate cortex which may explain therapy-induced modifications in how SAD sufferers interpret emotions in others and improvements in self-related and emotional processing.

KEYWORDS:

Anterior cingulate; Pharmacologic effects; Phobia, social; SPECT

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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