Right temporal pole volume reduction in PTSD

Savannah N. Gosnell, Hyuntaek Oh, Jake Schmidt, John Oldham, James Chris Fowler, Michelle Patriquin, David Ress, Ramiro Salas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Previous magnetic resonance imaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have reported cortical volume alterations in the parahippocampal, anterior cingulate cortex, and temporal pole. It is unclear, however, if these cortical regions are specifically associated with PTSD or associated with common comorbidities. Here, we present the result of cortical volume differences between PTSD and healthy and psychiatric controls. In this study, healthy controls (n = 67) were matched for demographic characteristics (age, sex, race) and psychiatric controls (n = 67) were matched for demographic characteristics plus all other psychiatric diagnoses (past and current) to a group of PTSD patients (N = 67). We assessed group differences of 34 bilateral cortical structure volumes using statistically defined brain regions-of-interest from FreeSurfer between PTSD patients and healthy controls. We found 10 regions to be significantly different between PTSD and healthy controls and analyzed the group differences between PTSD and psychiatric controls within these regions. The right temporal pole volume in PTSD was found to be significantly smaller than both healthy and psychiatry controls. Our finding suggests only right temporal pole volume reduction is specifically associated with PTSD, and also highlights the need for using appropriate controls in psychiatry research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109890
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jun 8 2020


  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Right temporal pole
  • Structural magnetic resonance imaging
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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