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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-36673

Irle, E; Ruhleder, M; Lange, C; Seidler-Brandler, U; Salzer, S; Dechent, P; Weniger, G; Leibing, E; Leichsenring, F (2010). Reduced amygdalar and hippocampal size in adults with generalized social phobia. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 35(2):126-131.

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BACKGROUND: Structural and functional brain imaging studies suggest abnormalities of the amygdala and hippocampus in posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. However, structural brain imaging studies in social phobia are lacking.

METHODS: In total, 24 patients with generalized social phobia (GSP) and 24 healthy controls underwent 3-dimensional structural magnetic resonance imaging of the amygdala and hippocampus and a clinical investigation.

RESULTS: Compared with controls, GSP patients had significantly reduced amygdalar (13%) and hippocampal (8%) size. The reduction in the size of the amygdala was statistically significant for men but not women. Smaller right-sided hippocampal volumes of GSP patients were significantly related to stronger disorder severity.

LIMITATIONS: Our sample included only patients with the generalized subtype of social phobia. Because we excluded patients with comorbid depression, our sample may not be representative.

CONCLUSION: We report for the first time volumetric results in patients with GSP. Future assessment of these patients will clarify whether these changes are reversed after successful treatment and whether they predict treatment response.


40 citations in Web of Science®
46 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:16 Dec 2010 09:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:17
Publisher:Canadian Medical Association
Publisher DOI:10.1503/jpn.090041
PubMed ID:20184810

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