Post-traumatic stress disorder: a right temporal lobe syndrome?

In a recent paper (Georgopoulos et al 2010 J. Neural Eng. 7 016011) we reported on the power of the
Magnetoencephalography

Magnetoencephalography (MEG)

A noninvasive technique that detects magnetic fields above the surface of the head produced by postsynaptic potentials in the brain.
-based
Synchronous Neural Interactions

Synchronous Neural Interactions (SNI)

Zero-lag partial correlations in pairs of MEG time series and denote the strength and polarity (positive or negative) of neuronal interactions. Anomalies in SNIs as assessed by MEG differentiate psychiatric disorders from healthy brain functioning and can discriminate among various brain diseases. From this research, a highly distinctive, unique PTSD SNI signature characterized by miscommunication of temporal and parietal and/or parieto-occipital right hemispheric areas with other brain areas has emerged. These findings, in addition to the growing research applying MEG to other psychiatric disorders, highlight the utility of MEG in identifying biomarkers of disease and underscore the potential for broader clinical applications of MEG.
test to differentiate post-traumatic stress disorder (
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A complex psychiatric syndrome that develops in response to trauma exposure. Individuals with PTSD experience intrusive recollections or reexperiencing of the traumatic event, avoidance of trauma reminders, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal. In addition, PTSD is associated with high rates of concomitant physical and mental health problems, increased health care use, and impairment in social and occupational functioning. Almost 7% of the general population and up to 30% of veterans meet lifetime criteria for PTSD. Indeed, PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, representing a significant and costly public health concern.
) subjects from healthy control subjects and to classify them with a high degree of accuracy. Here we show that the main differences in cortical communication circuitry between these two groups lie in the miscommunication of temporal and parietal and/or parieto-occipital right hemispheric areas with other brain areas. This lateralized temporal-posterior pattern of miscommunication was very similar but was attenuated in patients with
PTSD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A complex psychiatric syndrome that develops in response to trauma exposure. Individuals with PTSD experience intrusive recollections or reexperiencing of the traumatic event, avoidance of trauma reminders, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal. In addition, PTSD is associated with high rates of concomitant physical and mental health problems, increased health care use, and impairment in social and occupational functioning. Almost 7% of the general population and up to 30% of veterans meet lifetime criteria for PTSD. Indeed, PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, representing a significant and costly public health concern.
in remission. These findings are consistent with observations (Penfield 1958 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 44 51-66, Penfield and Perot 1963 Brain 86 595-696, Gloor 1990 Brain 113 1673-94, Banceaud et al 1994 Brain 117 71-90, Fried 1997 J. Neuropsychiatry Clin. Neurosci. 9 420-8) that electrical stimulation of the temporal cortex in awake human subjects, mostly in the right hemisphere, can elicit the re-enactment and re-living of past experiences. Based on these facts, we attribute our findings to the re-experiencing component of
PTSD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A complex psychiatric syndrome that develops in response to trauma exposure. Individuals with PTSD experience intrusive recollections or reexperiencing of the traumatic event, avoidance of trauma reminders, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal. In addition, PTSD is associated with high rates of concomitant physical and mental health problems, increased health care use, and impairment in social and occupational functioning. Almost 7% of the general population and up to 30% of veterans meet lifetime criteria for PTSD. Indeed, PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, representing a significant and costly public health concern.
and hypothesize that it reflects an involuntarily persistent activation of interacting neural networks involved in experiential consolidation.