Li, LJ (reprint author), Central S Univ, Xiangya Hosp 2, Mental Hlth Inst, Changsha 410011, Hunan, Peoples R China.
Objective: This study examined changes in brain grey matter in victims of rape (VoR) with and without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Previous research has focused on PTSD caused by various traumatic events, such as war and disaster, among others. Although considerable research has focused on rape-related PTSD, limited studies have been carried out in the context of Mainland China. Methods: The study included 11 VoR with PTSD, 8 VoR without PTSD and 12 healthy comparison (HC) subjects. We used voxel-based morphometry to explore changes in brain grey-matter density (GMD) by applying statistical parametric mapping to high-resolution magnetic resonance images. Results: Compared with HC, VoR with PTSD showed significant GMD reductions in the bilateral medial frontal cortex, left middle frontal cortex, middle temporal gyrus and fusiform cortex and significant GMD increases in the right posterior cingulate cortex, postcentral cortex, bilateral precentral cortex and inferior parietal lobule. Compared to VoR without PTSD, VoR with PTSD showed significant GMD reductions in the right uncus, left middle temporal gyrus, and the fusiform cortex, and increases in the left precentral cortex, inferior parietal lobule and right post-central cortex. Conclusion: The findings of abnormal GMD in VoR with PTSD support the hypothesis that PTSD is associated with widespread anatomical changes in the brain. The medial frontal cortex, precentral cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, post-central cortex and inferior parietal lobule may play important roles in the neuropathology of PTSD.