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Greater hippocampal volume is associated with PTSD treatment response

Rubin, Mikael; Shvil, Erel; Papini, Santiago; Chhetry, Binod T.; Helpman, Liat; Markowitz, John C.; Mann, J. John; Neria, Yuval

Previous research associates smaller hippocampal volume with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unclear, however, whether treatment affects hippocampal volume or vice versa. Seventy-six subjects, 40 PTSD patients and 36 matched trauma-exposed healthy resilient controls, underwent clinical assessments and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at baseline, and 10 weeks later, during which PTSD patients completed ten weeks of Prolonged Exposure (PE) treatment. The resilient controls and treatment responders (n=23) had greater baseline hippocampal volume than treatment non-responders (n=17) (p=0.012 and p=0.050, respectively), perhaps due to more robust fear-extinction capacity in both the initial phase after exposure to trauma and during treatment.


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Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging

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August 12, 2016
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