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Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 12;7(9):e1231. doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.200.

Disrupted cortical brain network in post-traumatic stress disorder patients: a resting-state electroencephalographic study.

Shim M1,2, Im CH1, Lee SH2,3.

Author information

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
Clinical Emotion and Cognition Research Laboratory, Goyang, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University, Goyang, Korea.


This study aimed to examine the source-level cortical brain networks of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on the graph theory using electroencephalography (EEG). Sixty-six cortical source signals were estimated from 78 PTSD and 58 healthy controls (HCs) of resting-state EEG. Four global indices (strength, clustering coefficient (CC), path length (PL) and efficiency) and one nodal index (CC) were evaluated in six frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, low beta, high beta and gamma). PTSD showed decreased global strength, CC and efficiency, in delta, theta, and low beta band and enhanced PL in theta and low beta band. In low beta band, the strength and CC correlated positively with the anxiety scores, while PL had a negative correlation. In addition, nodal CCs were reduced in PTSD in delta, theta and low beta band. Nodal CCs of theta band correlated negatively with rumination and re-experience symptom scores; while, nodal CCs in low beta band correlated positively with anxiety and pain severity. Inefficiently altered and symptom-dependent changes in cortical networks were seen in PTSD. Our source-level cortical network indices might be promising biomarkers for evaluating PTSD.

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