Resting State Functional Connectivity of the Thalamus in North Korean Refugees with and without Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Sehyun Jeon, Yu Jin Lee, Inkyung Park, Nambeom Kim, Soohyun Kim, Jin Yong Jun, So Young Yoo, So Hee Lee, Seog Ju Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), functional connectivity (FC) between the thalamus and other brain areas has yet to be comprehensively investigated. The present study explored resting state FC (rsFC) of thalamus and its associations with trauma-related features. The included subjects were North Korean refugees with PTSD (n = 23), trauma-exposed North Korean refugees without PTSD (trauma-exposed control [TEC] group, n = 22), and South Korean healthy controls (HCs) without traumatic experiences (HC group, n = 40). All participants underwent psychiatric evaluation and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) procedures using the bilateral thalamus as seeds. In the TEC group, the negative rsFC between each thalamus and its contralateral postcentral cortex was stronger relative to the PTSD and HC groups, while positive rsFC between the left thalamus and left precentral cortex was stronger in the HC group compared to the PTSD and TEC groups. Thalamo-postcentral rsFC was positively correlated with the CAPS total score in the TEC group, and with the number of traumatic experiences in the PTSD group. The present study identified the difference of thalamic rsFC alterations among traumatized refugees and HCs. Negative rsFC between the thalamus and somatosensory cortices might be compensatory changes after multiple traumatic events in refugees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3194
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2020

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