Using structural neuroanatomy to identify trauma survivors with and without post-traumatic stress disorder at the individual level

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: At present there are no objective, biological markers that can be used to reliably identify individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study assessed the diagnostic potential of structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) for identifying trauma-exposed individuals with and without PTSD. Method sMRI scans were acquired from 50 survivors of the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 who had developed PTSD, 50 survivors who had not developed PTSD and 40 healthy controls who had not been exposed to the earthquake. Support vector machine (SVM), a multivariate pattern recognition technique, was used to develop an algorithm that distinguished between the three groups at an individual level. The accuracy of the algorithm and its statistical significance were estimated using leave-one-out cross-validation and permutation testing. RESULTS: When survivors with PTSD were compared against healthy controls, both grey and white matter allowed discrimination with an accuracy of 91% (p 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2013

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