Brain Function News
American Legion recognizes Brian Engdahl for "unwavering commitment to our nation's veterans"
Brain Sciences Centerfaculty, holder of the Anderson Chair for
Posttraumatic Stress DisorderResearch, and adjunct professor in Neuroscience, Psychology and Cognitive Science, U of MN, was recognized on August 24th during the national convention of the American Legion by their TBI /
PTSDCommittee for "unwavering commitment to our nation's veterans, and for inspiring us with your motivating words during our 100th national convention". Brian began his 40th year at the VA in September.
The award was presented by Chairman and past National Commander, William Detweiler
Personality Factors and Their Impact on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Post-traumatic Growth is Mediated by Coping Style Among Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan Veterans
Traumatic experiences can trigger negative effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (
PTSD). However, some individuals may also experience positive changes following trauma exposure. These changes are known as post-traumatic growth (PTG). Dispositional and situational factors are likely at play in determining both severity of
PTSDsymptoms and whether and to what degree an individual experiences PTG. This study examined how coping style and personality traits interact to influence
Materials and Methods
Two hundred and seventy-one
Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom veterans not engaged in mental health treatment completed self-report measures of trauma exposure, personality traits, coping styles,
PTSDsymptoms, and PTG. The study was approved by the Minneapolis VAHCS Institutional Review Board.
Adaptive coping and positive personality traits such as openness were positively correlated with PTG. Maladaptive coping and neuroticism were positively correlated with
PTSDsymptoms. Regression analyses indicated that an inverted-U (quadratic) curve characterized the relationship between
PTSDsymptoms and PTG; veterans who reported moderate
PTSDlevels reported the most PTG. Mediation analyses revealed that adaptive coping partially mediated the relationship between openness and PTG. Maladaptive coping partially mediated the relationship between neuroticism and
This study demonstrated that coping style mediated relationships between personality traits and post-trauma outcomes. Our findings are subject to the limitations of the self-report and cross-sectional nature of the data. Longitudinal studies, preferably incorporating coping-oriented interventions, could convincingly demonstrate the impact of coping style on
PTSDand PTG. As coping styles can be modified, our findings nonetheless suggest that coping-oriented clinical intervention has potential to reduce
PTSDsymptoms and promote positive growth following trauma exposure.
Kare 11 explores Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and PTSD research involving the Brain Sciences Center
permalinkKare 11 - 2018-05-18Join Kare 11 as they explore Former Army infantryman Brian Zimmerman's experience with
PTSD, its treatment, and potential
PTSDresearch at the
Watch the trailer video, part 1, and part 2
Indirect Relations Between Transgressive Acts and General Combat Exposure and Moral Injury
PTSD) symptoms, demoralization, self-handicapping, and self-injury. In this study, we tested a frequently cited model of moral injury and assessed the associations between potentially transgressive acts, moral injury outcomes, and guilt and fear. Additionally, we sought to clarify the relative contribution of transgressive and nontransgressive/general combat exposure to moral injury. On the basis of previous research and theory, we anticipated that the transgressive acts would be related to outcomes through guilt and that nontransgressive combat exposure would be related to outcomes through fear. Materials and Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted on data from a sample of combat-exposed male veterans at a Midwestern Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center (N = 190) who participated in a larger parent study on postdeployment readjustment. Structural equation modeling was used to test the pathways from transgressive and nontransgressive combat exposure to
PTSDsymptoms and suicidality through combat-related guilt and combat-related fear. The institutional review boards of the Midwestern
VA Medical Centerand the university of the affiliated researchers approved the study. Results: In total, 38% (n = 72) of the sample reported a potentially transgressive act as one of their three worst traumatic events. The most common potentially transgressive act was killing an enemy combatant (17%; n = 32). In structural equation modeling analyses. potentially transgressive acts were indirectly related to both suicidality (β = 0.09, p < 0.01) and PTSD symptoms (β = 0.06, p < 0.05) through guilt. General combat exposure was indirectly related to PTSD through fear, β = 0.19, p < 0.01. Combat exposure was not directly or indirectly related to suicidality. Conclusion: Overall, these findings suggest that veterans with a history of potentially transgressive acts may present to the VA with a constellation of symptoms that are associated with combat-related guilt. Transgressive acts were identified using a qualitative approach, allowing a broader sampling of this domain. Results were limited by the use of self-report data and by gathering data from participants who were Veterans seeking compensation and pension evaluations for PTSD. The clinical implications suggest that focusing on fear-related outcomes and ignoring guilt- and shame-based reactions may lead to an incomplete case conceptualization. Clinicians working with veterans with moral injury are encouraged to prepare themselves for the discomfiting therapeutic experiences of bearing witness to and empathizing with clients' memories of their actions, which may include atrocities. Effective and empathic treatments that address the guilt and shame associated with transgressive acts are needed to adequately care for returning veterans.
What are we learning about how to treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?
Why do some people experience
PTSD, but not others? And what are we learning about how to treat it?
MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with the
BSC's Brian Engdahl, a neuroscience professor at the University of Minnesota, and the Anderson Chair in
PTSDResearch at the University of Minnesota Medical School
Minnesota Trauma Project and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day
permalinkKare 11 - 2017-06-27It's that time of year when we burst with national pride. It's worth remembering that many people including many of those who fought for our country, struggle with symbolic bombs bursting in air. Psychologists Brian Engahl and Ryan Van Wyk talked with KARE 11 about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on June 27, a day dedicated to Post Traumatic Stress Awareness...
Apolipoprotein E: the resilience gene
permalinkExperimental Brain Research - 2017-06-15James L, Engdahl B, Georgopoulos AP10.1007/s00221-017-4941-4The
Apolipoprotein Egene has been implicated in various conditions, most notably Alzheimer's disease and coronary artery disease. A predisposing role of the
ApoE4 isoform and a protective role of
ApoE2 isoform in those diseases have been documented. Here we investigated the role of
ApoEin resilience to trauma.
Cognitive screening in veterans with pure and comorbid Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: a Montreal Cognitive Assessment analysis
Screening for Cognitive Dysfunction in Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
2016 LPS for Vets Charity Golf Classic Benefits the Brain Sciences Center
permalinkBSC - 2016-06-11"LPS for Vets" is an annual golf fundraising event that started a decade ago by LPS and friends to raise funds and awareness for local organizations dedicated to improving the lives of our Veterans. On Saturday June 11, 2016 Logistics Planning Services conducted its 14th Annual Charity Golf Classic at White Eagle Golf Club in Hudson, WI to benefit our military veterans and specifically to benefit the Minneapolis VA
BSCin its Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (
Funds raised by this event are pledged to the breakthrough research being conducted by Dr. Georgopoulos (VA Clinic) and Dr. Engdahl (University of MN) in their work to help soldiers and all victims of
More information: http://lpsforvets.com/
Researchers pinpoint circuits that drive Posttraumatic Stress Disorder flashbacks
permalinkCBC News - David Kattenburg - 2016-02-04From the article:
Studies could help people suffering from panic attacks, psychosis and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
"It's like sort of boxes opening up, and your brain just launches these things without you actually trying to stimulate them." That was how then-senator, and retired general, Romeo Dallaire described the flashbacks that bubble up in his head.
Dallaire made the comments in a 2013 interview with the CBC's Sunday Edition, 20 years after the Rwandan genocide he tried to stop.
He's far from alone in dealing with those type of unwelcome flashbacks. An estimated 10 per cent of Canadians struggle with depression, flashbacks and panic attacks as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder, orPTSD, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association. ...
Pathological personality traits modulate neural interactions
permalinkExperimental Brain Research - 2015-12-01James L, Engdahl B, Leuthold A, Krueger RF, Georgopoulos AP10.1007/s00221-015-4406-6The DSM\-5, includes an empirically supported dimensional model of personality pathology that is assessed via the Personality Inventory for the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition(PID-5). Here we used
MEG; 248 sensors) to evaluate resting-state neural network properties associated with the five primary
DSM-5maladaptive personality domains (negative affect, detachment, antagonism, disinhibition, and psychoticism) in 150 healthy veterans ("control" group) and 179 veterans with various psychiatric disorders ("psychopathology" group). Since a fundamental network property is the strength of functional connectivity among network elements, we used the absolute value of the pairwise correlation coefficient (aCC) between prewhitened
MEGsensor time series as a measure of neural functional connectivity and assessed its relations to the quantitative PID-5 scores in a linear regression model, where the log-transformed aCC was the dependent variable and individual PID scores, age, and gender were the independent variables. The partial regression coefficient (pRC) for a specific PID-5 score in that model provided information concerning the direction (positive, negative) and size (absolute value) of the PID effect on the strength of neural correlations. We found that, overall, PID domains had a negative effect (i.e., negative pRC; decorrelation) on aCC in the control group, but a positive one (i.e., positive pRC; hyper-correlation) in the psychopathology group. This dissociation of PID effects on aCC was especially pronounced for disinhibition, psychoticism, and negative affect. These results document for the first time a fundamental difference in neural-PID relations between control and psychopathology groups.
Evaluating the dimensionality of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a sample of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan veterans
permalinkPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy - 2015-09-01Frankfurt S, Anders S, James L, Engdahl B, Winskowski AM10.1037/tra0000012Both categorical and dimensional models of mental disorders, including
PTSD, are useful for diagnostic and heuristic purposes; however, few empirical studies have compared categorical and dimensional models of
PTSDside-by-side or compared these models to a hybrid (dimensional and categorical) model. In the present study, the dimensionality of
PTSDwas examined by fitting latent profile analytic, confirmatory factor analytic, and factor mixture models in 271
OIF/Operation Enduring Freedom veterans 6 months after return from deployment. Latent profile analysis was used to identify subgroups of individuals with similar
PTSDsymptom profiles and predictors of subgroup membership, confirmatory factor analysis was used to identify the underlying continuous structure of
PTSDin this sample, and factor mixture modeling was used to test whether a hybrid categorical and continuous model of
PTSDbest fit our sample. A factor mixture model consisting of a 4-factor dysphoria model of
PTSDwith 2 classes characterized by low and moderate symptom severity was the best-fitting model. Dissociation and deployment concerns emerged as significant predictors of membership in the moderate symptoms class. Implications for
PTSDdiagnostic conceptualization and treatment planning are discussed.
Diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder based on correlations of prewhitened Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data: outcomes and areas involved
permalinkExperimental Brain Research - 2015-09-01Christova P, James L, Engdahl B, Lewis S, Georgopoulos AP10.1007/s00221-015-4339-0Successful diagnosis of
PTSDhas been achieved using neural correlations from prewhitened magnetoencephalographic (
MEG) time series (Georgopoulos et al. in J Neural Eng 7:16011, 2010. doi:10.1088/1741-2560/7/1/016011; James et al. 2015). Here, we show that highly successful classification of
PTSDand control subjects can be obtained using neural correlations from prewhitened resting-state
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagingdata. All but one
PTSD(14/15; sensitivity = 93.3 %) and all but one control (20/21; specificity = 95.2 %) subjects were correctly classified using 15 out of 2701 possible correlations between 74 brain areas. In contrast, correlations of the same but non-prewhitened data yielded chance-level classifications. We conclude that, if properly processed,
fMRIhas the prospect of aiding significantly in
PTSDdiagnosis. Twenty-five brain areas were most prominently involved in correct subject classification, including areas from all cortical lobes and the left pallidum.
POWs, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Coping
PTSDand coping mechanisms with Dr. Brian Engdahl from the Minneapolis VA.
Neural communication in posttraumatic growth
permalinkExperimental Brain Research - 2015-07-01Anders S, Peterson C, James L, Engdahl B, Leuthold A, Georgopoulos AP10.1007/s00221-015-4272-2Posttraumatic growth (PTG), or positive psychological changes following exposure to traumatic events, is commonly reported among trauma survivors. In the present study, we examined neural correlates of PTG in 106 veterans with
PTSDand 193 veteran controls using task-free
MEG, diagnostic interviews and measures of PTG, and traumatic event exposure. Global
Synchronous Neural Interactions(SNIs) were significantly modulated downward with increasing PTG scores in controls (p = .005), but not in veterans with
PTSD(p = .601). This effect was primarily characterized by negative slopes in local neural networks, was strongest in the medial prefrontal cortex, and was much stronger and more extensive in the control than the
PTSDgroup. The present study complements previous research highlighting the role of neural adaptation in healthy functioning.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition personality traits discriminate between PTSD and control groups
permalinkExperimental Brain Research - 2015-07-01James L, Anders S, Peterson C, Engdahl B, Krueger RF, Georgopoulos AP10.1007/s00221-015-4273-1The relevance of personality traits to the study of psychopathology has long been recognized, particularly in terms of understanding patterns of comorbidity. In fact, a multidimensional personality trait model reflecting five higher-order personality dimensions-negative affect, detachment, antagonism, disinhibition, and psychoticism-is included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (
DSM-5) and represented in the Personality Inventory for
DSM-5(PID-5). However, evaluation of these dimensions and underlying personality facets within clinical samples has been limited. In the present study, we utilized the PID-5 to evaluate the personality profile elevation and composition of 150 control veterans and 35 veterans diagnosed with
PTSD. Results indicated that veterans with
PTSDendorsed significantly more personality pathology than control veterans, with scores on detachment and psychoticism domains most clearly discriminating between the two groups. When personality domain scores were considered as parts of each subject's personality profile, a slightly different picture emerged. Specifically, the
PTSDcomposition was primarily characterized by detachment and negative affect, followed by disinhibition, psychoticism, and antagonism in that order of relative importance. The profile of the control group was significantly different, mostly accounted for differences in antagonism and psychoticism. Using these complementary analytic strategies, the findings demonstrate the relevance of personality pathology to
PTSD, highlight internalizing features of
PTSD, and pave the way for future research aimed at evaluating the role of shared maladaptive personality traits in underlying the comorbidity of
PTSDand related disorders.
The Number of Cysteine Residues per Mole in Apolipoprotein E Is Associated With the Severity of PTSD Re-Experiencing Symptoms
permalinkJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences - 2015-03-09Peterson C, James L, Anders S, Engdahl B, Georgopoulos AP10.1176/appi.neuropsych.13090205Apolipoprotien E (
ApoE) is involved in critical neural functions and is associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders.
ApoEexists in three isoforms that differ in the number of cysteine residues per mole (CysR/mole). This study evaluated associations between this informative ordinal biochemical scale (CysR/mole) and symptom severity in veterans with
PTSD. Results demonstrated a significant negative relationship between the CysR/mole and severity of
PTSDre-experiencing symptoms, adjusted for trauma. The findings suggest a genetic influence on
PTSDsymptomatology and dovetail with recent advances regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying the differential effects of
ApoEin the brain.
Development and application of a diagnostic algorithm for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
permalinkPsychiatry Research: Neuroimaging - 2015-01-30James L, Belitskaya-Levy I, Lu Y, Wang H, Engdahl B, Leuthold A, Georgopoulos AP10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.11.007Intact cognitive functions rely on synchronous neural activity; conversely, alterations in synchrony are thought to underlie psychopathology. We recently demonstrated that anomalies in
SNIdetermined by magnetoencephalography represent a putative
PTSDbiomarker. Here we develop and apply a regression-based diagnostic algorithm to further validate
PTSDbiomarker in 432 veterans (235 controls; 138 pure
PTSDplus comorbid disorders). Correlation coefficients served as proximities in multidimensional scaling (MDS) to obtain a two-dimensional representation of the data. In addition, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression was used to derive a diagnostic algorithm for
PTSD. Performance of this algorithm was assessed by the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, sensitivity, and specificity in 1000 randomly divided testing and validation datasets and in independent samples. MDS revealed that individuals with
PTSD, regardless of comorbid psychiatric conditions, are highly distinct from controls. Similarly, application of the LASSO regression-derived prediction model demonstrated remarkable classification accuracy (AUCs≥0.93 for men, AUC=0.82 for women). Neural functioning in individuals with
PTSD, regardless of comorbid psychiatric diagnoses, can be used as a diagnostic test to determine patient disease status, further validating
Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
PTSDand how those suffering from the disorder can get effective help