Greater hippocampal volume is associated with PTSD treatment response

Mikael Rubin, Erel Shvil, Santiago Papini, Binod T. Chhetry, Liat Helpman, John C. Markowitz, J. John Mann, Yuval Neria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research associates smaller hippocampal volume with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unclear, however, whether treatment affects hippocampal volume or vice versa. Seventy-six subjects, 40 PTSD patients and 36 matched trauma-exposed healthy resilient controls, underwent clinical assessments and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at baseline, and 10 weeks later, during which PTSD patients completed ten weeks of Prolonged Exposure (PE) treatment. The resilient controls and treatment responders (n=23) had greater baseline hippocampal volume than treatment non-responders (n=17) (p=0.012 and p=0.050, respectively), perhaps due to more robust fear-extinction capacity in both the initial phase after exposure to trauma and during treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this study was supported by R01 Grants MH072833 and MH105355 from the National Institute of Mental Health (Dr. Neria, principal investigator), and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Helpman is supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant 5T32MH096724-03.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


  • Hippocampus
  • MRI
  • PTSD
  • Prolonged Exposure Treatment
  • Resilience
  • Treatment Response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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