Subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) present a diminished or blunted emotional response, sometimes called "emotional numbing" (EN), that constitutes one of the central symptoms in PTSD. Symptoms of EN include diminished interest in activities, feeling detached or estranged from others, and restricted range of affect (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The present work studied the emotional components in individuals with PTSD with the principal aim of investigating subjects' functional alteration in the limbic regions, insula and frontal cortex during an emotional task compared with healthy subjects. Ten subjects with PTSD (survivors of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake of April 6, 2009 in L'Aquila) and ten healthy controls underwent fMRI. PTSD was diagnosed according to DSM-IV-R (APA 2000). All subjects underwent fMRI while viewing content-neutral and emotional stimuli. Data analysis revealed that PTSD subjects had significantly greater cerebral activation in particular in the right anterior insula and in bilateral inferior frontal gyrus. Our data suggest that there is a change in the activation of brain areas responsible for emotional processing in patients with PTSD and are consistent with previous findings demonstrating hyperactivation in frontolimbic structures during emotional tasks. Our study suggests that close personal experience may be critical in engaging the neural mechanisms underlying the emotional modulation of memory. Our findings provide evidence that significant alterations in brain function, similar in many ways to those observed in PTSD, can be seen shortly after major traumatic experiences, highlighting the need for early evaluation and intervention for trauma survivors.

Change in regional cerebral function in l'aquila earthquake survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder: preliminary findings.

DI SALLE, Francesco;
2011

Abstract

Subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) present a diminished or blunted emotional response, sometimes called "emotional numbing" (EN), that constitutes one of the central symptoms in PTSD. Symptoms of EN include diminished interest in activities, feeling detached or estranged from others, and restricted range of affect (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The present work studied the emotional components in individuals with PTSD with the principal aim of investigating subjects' functional alteration in the limbic regions, insula and frontal cortex during an emotional task compared with healthy subjects. Ten subjects with PTSD (survivors of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake of April 6, 2009 in L'Aquila) and ten healthy controls underwent fMRI. PTSD was diagnosed according to DSM-IV-R (APA 2000). All subjects underwent fMRI while viewing content-neutral and emotional stimuli. Data analysis revealed that PTSD subjects had significantly greater cerebral activation in particular in the right anterior insula and in bilateral inferior frontal gyrus. Our data suggest that there is a change in the activation of brain areas responsible for emotional processing in patients with PTSD and are consistent with previous findings demonstrating hyperactivation in frontolimbic structures during emotional tasks. Our study suggests that close personal experience may be critical in engaging the neural mechanisms underlying the emotional modulation of memory. Our findings provide evidence that significant alterations in brain function, similar in many ways to those observed in PTSD, can be seen shortly after major traumatic experiences, highlighting the need for early evaluation and intervention for trauma survivors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4580257
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