Dissertation - Public Access
Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology
Elizabeth Lane, Ph.D.
Kathie Bates, Ph.D.
Individuals diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have demonstrated extinction-resistant symptoms and long-lasting impacts on the brain’s functional activity (Krystal et al., 2017; Stark et al., 2015). PTSD illustrates a strong relationship with cognitive functioning, and research has found lower parietal and hippocampal volume and deterioration in brain function and structure, resulting in executive dysfunction, attentional deficits, mood dysregulation, and memory difficulties (Krystal et al., 2017; Stark et al., 2015; Weiner et al. 2017). Sleep has been investigated to better understand its contribution to AD pathologies as well as its impact on PTSD treatment and prognosis. Although sleep’s functions are not widely understood, past studies have found that sleep aids in clearing waste, reconsolidating memories, and promoting neuronal connection (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2006; Pace-Schott et al., 2015). Preliminary research by Weiner et al. (2017) has demonstrated worse global cognitive functioning, lower superior parietal volume, and lower amyloid positivity in people with PTSD, although preliminary results have not indicated PTSD as an increased risk factor for AD (Weiner et al., 2017). Therefore, further assessment of the differences between CSF amyloid, CSF ptau, and PTSD symptoms, specifically sleep, may expand current research on AD risk factors and biomarkers. A total of 179 participants were included in this study and were split into two groups: a PTSD group (n = 96) and a control group (n = 83). A MANCOVA analysis was conducted to assess if one or more mean differences between sleep quality index scores and AD pathology (i.e., CSF tau, CSF p-tau, CSF amyloid beta, CSF amyloid beta 40, and CSF amyloid beta 42/40 ratio) as well as in neuropsychological assessment results were present in a PTSD group compared to the control group (i.e., no PTSD or TBI group) among Vietnam veterans. A statistically significant MANCOVA effect was obtained, Pillai’s Trace = 0.28, ii F(6,61) = 3.89, p < 0.002, when assessing differences between sleep quality and AD pathology. However, a statistically significant MANCOVA effect was not obtained, Pillai’s Trace = 0.16, F(11,38) = 0.68, p = 0.75, when assessing differences on neuropsychological assessments. Findings from this study suggest that sleep disturbance is prominent in individuals with PTSD and could be a significant contributor to AD pathologies. However, no difference was found between groups on neuropsychological assessments, illustrating that individuals with PTSD do not differ from those without PTSD in areas assessed by these measures.
Madsen, Ashtan, "Investigating the Differences between Neuropsychological and Physiological Markers in a PTSD-only Group Among Vietnam Veterans" (2023). Dissertations. 766.