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Post-traumatic stress and age variation in amygdala volumes among youth exposed to trauma

Weems, Carl F and Klabunde, Megan and Russell, Justin D and Reiss, Allan L and Carrión, Victor G (2015) 'Post-traumatic stress and age variation in amygdala volumes among youth exposed to trauma.' Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10 (12). 1661 - 1667. ISSN 1749-5016

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Abstract

Theoretically, normal developmental variation in amygdala volumes may be altered under conditions of severe stress. The purpose of this article was to examine whether posttraumatic stress moderates the association between age and amygdala volumes in youth exposed to traumatic events who are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Volumetric imaging was conducted on two groups of youth aged 9–17 years: 28 with exposure to trauma and PTSD symptoms (boys = 15, girls = 13) and 26 matched (age, IQ) comparison youth (Controls; boys = 12, girls = 14). There was a significant group by age interaction in predicting right amygdala volumes. A positive association between age and right amygdala volumes was observed, but only in PTSD youth. These associations with age remained when controlling for IQ, total brain volumes and sex. Moreover, older youth with PTSD symptoms had relatively larger right amygdala volumes than controls. Findings provide evidence that severe stress may influence age-related variation in amygdala volumes. Results further highlight the importance of utilizing age as an interactive variable in pediatric neuroimaging research, in so far as age may act as an important moderator of group differences.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sMRI; traumatic; severe stress; development; amygdala; FreeSurfer
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 10:37
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 10:37
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24782

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