Regional Brain Electrical Activity in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder After Motor Vehicle Accident

This paper examines whether patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) would show an abnormal pattern of electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha asymmetries, which has been proposed for some types of anxiety. Patients with PTSD or subsyndromal PTSD, traumatized controls without PTSD, and healthy controls without MVA underwent measurement of EEG activity during baseline and exposure to a neutral, a positive, a negative, and an accident-related picture. Differences in brain asymmetry between groups were observed only during exposure to trauma-related material. PTSD and subsyndromal PTSD patients showed a pattern of enhanced right anterior and posterior activation, whereas non-PTSD with MVA participants showed an opposite pattern. Furthermore, posterior asymmetry in nontraumatized healthy controls varied with gender, with female participants showing a pattern of higher right posterior activation. Results support the hypothesis that symptomatic MVA survivors are characterized by a pattern of right hemisphere activation that is associated with anxious arousal and symptoms of PTSD during processing of trauma-specific information.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Rabe, Sirko
    • Beauducel, Andre
    • Zollner, Tanja
    • Maercker, Andreas
    • Karl, Anke
  • Publication Date: 2006-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 687-698
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01051966
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 25 2007 5:14PM