Voxel-based morphometric gray matter correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder

Mareen Weber, William D.S. Killgore, Isabelle M. Rosso, Jennifer C. Britton, Zachary J. Schwab, Melissa R. Weiner, Naomi M. Simon, Mark H. Pollack, Scott L. Rauch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with functional abnormalities within a neurocircuitry that includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and medial prefrontal cortex. Evidence of structural abnormalities within these regions, and their association with PTSD severity and symptom burden is, however, sparse. The present study evaluated the relation between indices of gray matter volume and PTSD symptom severity using voxel-based morphometry. Fifteen individuals meeting DSM-IV criteria for PTSD completed the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale and underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Greater PTSD severity and avoidance/numbing were correlated with increased gray matter volume of the right amygdala-hippocampal complex. Greater hyper-arousal was associated with reduced gray matter volume in the left superior medial frontal gyrus. Findings are consistent with current neurocircuitry models of PTSD, which posit that the disorder is associated with structural and functional variance within this distributed network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-419
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Amygdala
  • Chronic post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Hippocampus
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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