Salience Network Disruption in U.S. Army Soldiers With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Better understanding of the neurobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be critical to developing novel, effective therapeutics. Here, we conducted a data-driven investigation using a well-established, graph-based topological measure of nodal strength to determine the extent of functional dysconnectivity in a cohort of active duty US Army soldiers with PTSD compared to controls. METHODS: 102 participants with (n=50) or without PTSD (n=52) completed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at rest and during symptom provocation using subject-specific script imagery. Vertex/voxel global brain connectivity with global signal regression (GBCr), a measure of nodal strength, was calculated as the average of its functional connectivity with all other vertices/voxels in the brain gray matter. RESULTS: In contrast to during resting-state, where there were no group differences, we found a significantly higher GBCr during symptom provocation, in PTSD participants compared to controls, in areas within the right hemisphere, including anterior insula, caudal-ventrolateral prefrontal, and rostral-ventrolateral parietal cortices. Overall, these clusters overlapped with the ventral and dorsal salience networks. Post hoc analysis showed increased GBCr in these salience clusters during symptom provocation compared to resting-state. In addition, resting-state GBCr in the salience clusters predicted GBCr during symptom provocation in PTSD participants but not in controls. CONCLUSION: In PTSD, increased connectivity within the salience network has been previously hypothesized, based primarily on seed-based connectivity findings. The current results strongly support this hypothesis using whole-brain network measure in a fully data-driven approach. It remains to be seen in future studies whether these identified salience disturbances would normalize following treatment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abdallah, CG; Averill, CL; Ramage, AE; Averill, LA; Goktas, S; Nemati, S; Krystal, JH; Roache, JD; Resick, PA; Young-McCaughan, S; Peterson, AL; Fox, P; STRONG STAR Consortium,

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 /

PubMed ID

  • 31131337

Pubmed Central ID

  • 31131337

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2470-5470

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/2470547019850467


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States