Selectively reduced regional cortical volumes in post-traumatic stress disorder

Rauch SL, Shin LM, Segal E, Pitman RK, Carson MA, McMullin K, Whalen PJ, Makris N

Neuroreport 2003 May;14(7):913-6

PMID: 12802174


Different subterritories of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and adjacent ventromedial frontal cortex have been shown to serve distinct functions. This scheme has influenced contemporary pathophysiologic models of psychiatric disorders. Prevailing neurocircuitry models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) implicate dysfunction within pregenual ACC and subcallosal cortex (SC), as well as amygdala and hippocampus. In the current study, cortical parcellation of magnetic resonance imaging data was performed to test for volumetric differences in pregenual ACC and SC, between women with PTSD and trauma-exposed women without PTSD. The PTSD group exhibited selectively decreased pregenual ACC and SC volumes. These results are consistent with contemporary schemes regarding functional and structural dissection of frontal cortex, and suggest specific regional cortical pathology in PTSD.