Increase of precuneus metabolism correlates with reduction of PTSD symptoms after EMDR therapy in military veterans: An 18F-FDG PET study during virtual reality exposure to war

Description

Purpose:
The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is higher among veterans, and can lead to disastrous consequences such as suicide. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is recommended in first-line psychotherapies for PTSD. Virtual reality exposure (VRE) coupled with 18F-FDG PET imaging can highlight the activated brain regions during stress exposure. The objective of this study is to identify, after EMDR therapy, the regions of brain metabolism that evolve during the stress exposure of a war scene with symptomatic remission in a group of military veterans suffering from PTSD, and to secondarily search for predictive metabolic features.

Methods:
We recruited 15 military veterans suffering from PTSD who performed an 18F-FDG PET sensitized by the exposure to a virtual war scene, before (T0) and after (T1) EMDR therapy. Statistical parametric mapping was used to compare brain metabolism before and after treatment and to study correlations between metabolism and evolution scores on PTSD clinical scales (PTSD Checklist Scale, PCLS; Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, CAPS).

Results:
The metabolic activity of the precuneus was increased after EMDR therapy (p < 0.005 uncorrected, k > 180) and correlated with clinical improvement with the CAPS scale (r = −0.73 and p < 0.001). Moreover, the precuneus metabolic value before therapy predicted the clinical improvement on the PCLS scale (T1-T0) after EMDR (r = −0.667 and p < 0.006).

Conclusion:
The clinical improvement in military patients with PTSD after EMDR is related to increased precuneus metabolism upon VR stress exposure.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Pierre-François Rousseau
E. Malbos
A. Verger
F. Nicolas
C. Lançon
Stéphanie Khalfa
Eric Guedj

Original Work Citation

Rousseau, P.F., Malbos, E., Verger, A., Nicholas, F., Lançon, C., Khalfa, S., & Guedj, E. (2019, May). Increase of precuneus metabolism correlates with reduction of PTSD symptoms after EMDR therapy in military veterans: An 18F-FDG PET study during virtual reality exposure to war. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 1-5. doi:10.1007/s00259-019-04360-1

Collection

Citation

“Increase of precuneus metabolism correlates with reduction of PTSD symptoms after EMDR therapy in military veterans: An 18F-FDG PET study during virtual reality exposure to war,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 28, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/25986.

Output Formats