Brain imaging alterations in posttraumatic stress disorder

Daniel W. Grupe, Aaron S. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with a host of neurobiological changes, including abnormalities in subcortical and cortical structure and function. The majority of neuroimaging studies have been motivated by a fear-conditioning perspective to examine neural changes associated with PTSD, with several studies finding alterations in the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex. However, not all studies have replicated these findings, suggesting that perhaps more nuanced models of PTSD may be needed to account for the pathophysiology of the disorder. We review neuroimaging findings related to the fear model, encouraging researchers to consider additional factors such as trauma type, age of trauma, and affective neurodynamics. Explicit consideration of these factors may facilitate greater coherence among studies going forward and advance our understanding of the neurobiological alterations associated with PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatric annals
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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