Background A previous single photon emission computed tomography study showed decreased central type benzodiazepine receptors in the prefrontal cortex in Vietnam War veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. To assess the generalizability of this finding to patients with more recent history, we studied central type benzodiazepine receptors in Gulf War veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Methods Nineteen Gulf War veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and 19 age-matched, healthy, nondeployed veterans participated in a single photon emission computed tomography study using [ 123I]iomazenil. Regional total distribution volume (V T′) was compared between two groups using Statistical Parametric Mapping 99 (Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, London, United Kingdom) and volumes of interest analysis. Results Benzodiazepine receptor levels did not show regional differences between the two groups, either with or without global normalization. Average difference in V T′ was 2% across brain areas; however, by applying global normalization, VT′ in the patient group showed significant negative correlation with childhood trauma scores in the right superior temporal gyrus. Conclusions Less severe symptoms and shorter duration of the illness in the current group than the prior one may be the source of the difference in the results of the two studies.
- Single photon emission computed tomography
- childhood trauma
- statistical parametric mapping
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biological Psychiatry