Alterations in brain activation in posttraumatic stress disorder patients with severe hyperarousal symptoms and impulsive aggressiveness.
OBJECTIVE: We wanted to assess possible alterations in brain activation in PTSD patients with severe hyperarousal symptoms and impulsive aggressiveness.
METHOD: 25 Croatian War (1991-1995) veterans with combat-related PTSD with severe hyperarousal symptoms and impulsive aggressiveness were assessed for possible alterations in cerebral blood flow in single photon emission computed tomography brain scans.
RESULTS: Increased regional cerebral blood flow in projection area of nucleus accumbens was found in 13 of 25 subjects, and for all in the dominant brain hemisphere.
DISCUSSION: We believe that at least some of PTSD symptoms, and especially the impulsive aggression, can be associated with increased regional cerebral blood flow in the projection area of nucleus accumbens.