Supplementary Material for: Altered White Matter Diffusivity of the Cingulum Angular Bundle in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

posted on 19.07.2018 by Averill C.L., Averill L.A., Wrocklage K.M., Scott J.C., Akiki T.J., Schweinsburg B., Southwick S.M., Krystal J.H., Abdallah C.G.
Purpose of the Study: Prior studies showed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related alterations in white matter integrity, but most of these studies have used region-based approaches. We address this limitation by investigating the relationship between PTSD severity and fractional anisotropy (FA) using a tract-based approach. Procedures: Structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging were acquired from 67 combat-exposed US Veterans and processed using FSL/FreeSurfer TRActs Constrained by UnderLying Anatomy. Partial correlations were conducted between PTSD severity and FA of the cingulum and uncinate fasciculi covarying for age, sex, and head motion. Results: Only FA of the left cingulum angular bundle (CAB) was positively correlated with PTSD symptom severity (r = 0.433, p = 0.001, df = 57) and remained significant after Bonferroni correction. Conclusions: This finding may imply greater organization of the CAB with increasing PTSD severity. The CAB connects directly to the cingulate cortex and the hippocampal subiculum, critical nodes of the default mode network, as well as being implicated in neurodegeneration pathology, decision-making, and executive functions, which may help explain previously shown alterations in this network in PTSD. Message of the Paper: Further study of white matter tract integrity in PTSD is warranted, particularly to investigate whether the CAB connections with both higher-order cognitive functioning and emotion processing regions contribute to the pathophysiology and comorbidity of PTSD.