Attention, learning, and memory in posttraumatic stress disorder

Authors

  • Thomas C. Neylan,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California
    • PTSD Program, Psychiatry Service 116P, VA Medical Center, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, California 94121
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  • Maryanne Lenoci,

    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
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  • Johannes Rothlind,

    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
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  • Thomas J. Metzler,

    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California
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  • Norbert Schuff,

    1. Magnetic Resonance Unit, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, California
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  • An-Tao Du,

    1. Magnetic Resonance Unit, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, California
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  • Kristin W. Franklin,

    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
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  • Daniel S. Weiss,

    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California
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  • Michael W. Weiner,

    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    2. Magnetic Resonance Unit, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    3. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California
    4. Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, California
    5. Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California
    6. Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California
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  • Charles R. Marmar

    1. Mental Health Service, San Francisco DVA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, California
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Abstract

This study compared attention and declarative memory in a sample of combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD, n = 24) previously reported to have reduced concentrations of the hippocampal neuronal marker N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), but similar hippocampal volume compared to veteran normal comparison participants (n = 23). Healthy, well-educated males with combatrelated PTSD without current depression or recent alcohol/drug abuse did not perform differently on tests of attention, learning, and memory compared to normal comparison participants. Further, hippocampal volume, NAA, or NAA/Creatine ratios did not significantly correlate with any of the cognitive measures when adjustments for multiple comparisons were made. In this study, reduced hippocampal NAA did not appear to be associated with impaired declarative memory.

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