Functional Neuroimaging in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

  • P. D. Carey
  • D. J. Stein
  • J. Warwick
  • S. Seedat


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychobiological brain disorder that develops in the aftermath of severe trauma. Functional brain imaging in PTSD is in its infancy and the literature covers a wide range of imaging paradigms, but a number of findings are interesting. Emotional activation paradigms demonstrate activation most frequently in the precentral gyrus, posterior cingulate, amygdala and cerebellum, while deactivation is seen in the middle temporal gyrus, inferior and middle frontal and parietal regions. Cognitive activation paradigms show some overlap with emotional activation studies, but highlight the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex in response inhibition. Preliminary findings from treatment studies seem to demonstrate changes in medial temporal and medial prefrontal cortical regions in PTSD. A limited range of trauma experiences, a paucity of women and nearly half of current studies being uncontrolled to some extent limits the conclusions we can draw in relation to PTSD at the present time. Future studies should address causal questions and begin to explore genetic associations with increasingly available receptor and transporter ligands.


Positron Emission Tomography Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Childhood Sexual Abuse Precentral Gyrus Middle Temporal Gyrus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. D. Carey
    • 1
  • D. J. Stein
    • 1
  • J. Warwick
    • 1
  • S. Seedat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Stellenbosch and TygerbergCape TownSouth Africa

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