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Gray matter structural abnormalities are found in adults with social anxiety disorder

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 — Poster Session I

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • B.A. Orionzi
  • G.L. Wallace
  • I.W. Eisenberg
  • R.J.R Blair
  • A. Martin
  • K.S. Blair


Background: Several studies have shown functional brain abnormalities in individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Whether structural abnormalities exist remains unclear. Therefore, we examined brain morphometry in adults with SAD in comparison to matched typically developing (TD) subjects. Methods: 38 individuals with SAD and 38 TD individuals provided a high-resolution 1.5-Tesla anatomic magnetic resonance imaging scan. Groups had a 1:1 male to female ratio and were matched on age (mean=32.6, standard deviation=8.25) and IQ (mean=115.3, standard deviation=11.29). The FreeSurfer image analysis suite was used to derive high-resolution cortical thickness and pial gyrification values at ~150,000 vertices per hemisphere. Results: In comparison to TD subjects, the individuals with SAD showed thinner cortex in left fusiform gyrus and reduced gyrification in right precentral cortex (both cluster corrected p<.01). Discussion: Differences in gray matter structure are present among individuals with SAD. These structural abnormalities may be associated with dysfunctional circuits processing emotion in those with SAD.

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