Leo Sher, M.D.
A research report, “Attenuated prefrontal and temporal neural activity during working memory as a potential biomarker of suicidal ideation in veterans with PTSD” has been published in the Journal of Affective Disorders online ahead of print (1). Researchers from the VA San Diego Healthcare System Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, University of California, San Diego, explored neural correlates of suicidal ideation (SI) in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The authors hypothesized that individuals with SI would show interference-related hypoactivation in key regions of the cognitive control network in comparison to individuals without SI.
Twenty three right-handed male combat veterans with PTSD completed an adapted Reading Span (Rspan) working memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Study participants were classified based on the presence of current SI. Current SI was determined based on response to item 9 of the Beck Depression Inventory-II. Individuals were classified as negative for SI (SI-) if they endorsed zero on this item (n=14) and positive for SI (SI+) for greater than zero (n=9, all participants endorsed “1”).
Task-based activations were observed in regions including the cingulate, middle frontal, parietal, and occipital cortex, striatum, and cerebellum. Relative to individuals without SI, individuals with SI demonstrated less activation in a large region spanning the lateral prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex as well as the inferior temporal cortex, in response to interference demands. The authors conclude that there are neurocognitive differences in prefrontal and temporal functioning in veterans with PTSD with or without SI.
- Bomyea J, Stout DM, Simmons AN. Attenuated prefrontal and temporal neural activity during working memory as a potential biomarker of suicidal ideation in veterans with PTSD. J Affect Disord. 2019 Jul 10;257:607-614. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.07.050. [Epub ahead of print]