Molecular neuroimaging in posttraumatic stress disorder

Jooyeon Jamie Im, Eun Namgung, Yejee Choi, Jung Yoon Kim, Sandy Jeong Rhie, Sujung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, an increasing number of neuroimaging studies have provided insight into the neurobiological mechanisms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PSTD). In particular, molecular neuroimaging techniques have been employed in examining metabolic and neurochemical processes in PTSD. This article reviews molecular neuroimaging studies in PTSD and focuses on findings using three imaging modalities including positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Although there were some inconsistences in the findings, patients with PTSD showed altered cerebral metabolism and perfusion, receptor bindings, and metabolite profiles in the limbic regions, medial prefrontal cortex, and temporal cortex. Studies that have investigated brain correlates of treatment response are also reviewed. Lastly, the limitations of the molecular neuroimaging studies and potential future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-295
Number of pages19
JournalExperimental Neurobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea (2015M3C7A1028373) and the Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion (B0132-15-1001) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© Experimental Neurobiology 2017.


  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Molecular neuroimaging
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)


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