BACKGROUND AND AIM: In the present study, we have hypothesized that volume changes of the caudate nucleus, putamen, globus pallidus, hippocampus, thalamus, and lateral ventricle in newly-diagnosed, male PTSD patients without therapy are more pronounced in those with headaches. To confirm or reject our hypothesis, we have undertaken an extensive study of forty-nine PTSD patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: To confirm or reject our hypothesis, we have undertaken an extensive study of forty-nine PTSD male patients that underwent MRI scanning immediately upon admittance for the treatment. Based on headache frequency, they were classified into three groups: group 1 included patients with headaches at least twice a week; group 2 consisted of patients with headaches less than twice a week; and group 3 consisted of patients without headaches. All MRI scans underwent software-based volume compute and statistical processing.
RESULTS: 39 out of 49 patients with PTSD suffered from headaches. Bilaterally, volume decreases were noted in groups 1 and 2 compared to group 3 for the caudate nucleus, putamen, hippocampus and lateral ventricle. Differences in globus pallidus and thalamus among groups appeared to be insignificant.
CONCLUSION: The present study revealed a bilateral volume decrease of the caudate nucleus, putamen and hippocampus in PTSD male subjects without therapy. Intensity of volume alterations correlated with Hamilton's depression rating score; regression analysis uncovered correlated changes in the caudate nucleus, putamen and hippocampus, and an inverse correlation with the volume of the lateral ventricle in the PTSD patients.
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