Skip to main content

Childhood PTSD May Alter Structure of Brain Networks

Childhood PTSD May Alter Structure of Brain Networks

A new neuroimaging study shows a link between childhood post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a disruption in the structure of brain networks. The findings, published in the the journal Radiology,  could one dayhelp lead to the development of new treatments for PTSD.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of PTSD. Research has shown that childhood trauma is tied to a variety of neurochemical and hormonal effects that can lead to lasting changes in brain structure and function.

Brain studies with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to identify vulnerable patients, allowing interventions to begin sooner, potentially preventing any negative brain changes.

For the study, researchers from China used MRI to compare the brain structures of 24 children with PTSD to a control group of 23 trauma-exposed children without PTSD. The children had experienced the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a massive disaster in south central China that killed almost 70,000 people and injured more than 370,000.

Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), an MRI technique that reveals the integrity of the brain’s white matter, was used to evaluate the brain’s connectome —the map of the neural connections in the brain.

The human connectome includes a series of nodes, or brain regions, linked by connections known as edges. Nodes with a relatively high number of edges are referred to as hubs.

“Generally speaking, the structural connectome and the functional connectome are based on different types of raw images, which may be used to investigate the brain’s abnormalities through different views,” said study lead author Qiyong Gong, M.D., Ph.D., from West China Hospital of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

The findings revealed significant structural differences between the PTSD and non-PTSD groups. The brains of children with PTSD showed changes suggestive of reduced network efficiency due to damage or disconnection between linked regions.

The study also showed a concerning trend in the structural connectome of PTSD patients. Typically, the brain operates partly as a small-world network in which most nodes can be reached from every other node by only a few steps. A small-world network contributes to the high-efficiency transfer of information between networks.

However, in the brains of PTSD patients, the structural connectome was leaning more toward regularization, a phenomenon in which the neural network moves from a small-world to a more regular network. A regular network is more localized, so it takes many more steps to reach distant nodes.

“In a previous functional and current structural connectome study of the same patient group, we found a shift toward regularization in the brain networks of the PTSD patients relative to controls,” said Gong. “Thus, we speculate that this regularization process may be a general pattern of pediatric PTSD.”

Differences were also discovered in the salience network, a group of brain regions that select which stimuli are deserving of attention. The finding could point to a potential target for future treatment plans in pediatric PTSD.

“These abnormalities suggest that PTSD can be better understood by examining the dysfunction of large-scale spatially distributed neural networks,” said Gong.

The researchers hope to conduct follow-up imaging on at least some of the patients in the study to further study brain changes tied to PTSD.

Source: Radiological Society of North America



from Psych Central News http://ift.tt/2fmqmx2
via IFTTT

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Working Remotely Is Not Necessarily Stress-Free

Many believe that working from home or remotely can foster freedom and stress-free job satisfaction, and that everyone wants  more work autonomy.A new study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, says “Not so fast.”In the study, researchers examined the impact of remote work on employee well-being. Their findings suggest that a variety of factors can undermine or accent the employee benefits of working off-site.Accordingly, researchers developed new strategies to help managers provide remote-work opportunities that are valuable to the employee and the company.“Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote.The study appears in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology.In the review, a total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research, said lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D.Researchers meas…

Americans Are Getting A Little More Sleep

A new survey published in the journal Sleep finds that, on average, Americans are slowly but surely getting more shut-eye, even if it’s just a few minutes each week. The findings show that, overall, people seem to be turning in a little earlier and spending less time watching TV or reading just before bed.The research, based on the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), found that daily sleep duration increased by 1.4 minutes on weekdays and 0.8 minutes on weekends each year.At first glance, this may not seem like much progress. However, over the 14-year period it translates to 17.3 minutes more sleep each night, or 4.4 full days more sleep each year. Overall, these numbers amount to an extra 7.5 hours of sleep each year over the 14-year period. The survey involved 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older between 2003 and 2016.The study, conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is the first to show that sleep duration has increased among se…

Non-invasive imaging technique accurately detects skin cancer without surgical biopsy

Researchers funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering have developed a non-invasive imaging technique that accurately detects skin cancer without surgical biopsy.

from The Medical News http://ift.tt/2lJdEqF
via IFTTTBecome a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; http://ift.tt/2i70pBW and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.