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Abstract #1733

Brain Network Segregation and Integration is Altered in Soldiers with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

D Rangaprakash1, Gopikrishna Deshpande1,2,3, Jeffrey S Katz1,2,3, Thomas S Denney1,2,3, and Michael N Dretsch4,5

1AU MRI Research Center, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, United States, 2Department of Psychology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, United States, 3Alabama Advanced Imaging Consortium, Auburn University and University of Alabama Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States, 4U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker, AL, United States, 5Human Dimension Division, HQ TRADOC, Fort Eustis, VA, United States

Brain functioning relies on various segregated/specialized neural regions functioning as an integrated-interconnected network. Psychiatric disorders are associated with altered functioning of these brain networks. Using resting-state fMRI, we assessed strength and variability of directional connectivity in brain-networks obtained from U.S. Army Soldiers with PTSD and mTBI. Employing graph-theoretic techniques in a novel framework, we show that PTSD and mTBI are associated with frontal disinhibition of key subcortical and visual regions, which leads to overdrive in parietal association areas, causing increased symptoms. This work is significant given that a mechanistic understanding of underlying network functioning in comorbid PTSD/mTBI has been elusive.

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