Classification of posttraumatic stress disorder and related outcomes in women veterans using magnetoencephalography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women veterans represent a unique population whose experiences and neurobiology differ from that of their male counterparts. Thus, while previous research has demonstrated the utility of synchronous neural interactions (SNI) as a biomarker of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in male veterans, the utility of SNI as a biomarker of PTSD in women veterans is unclear. Here we extend that line of research to evaluate classification of women veterans with and without PTSD and other trauma-related outcomes based on functional connectivity using magnetoencephalography (MEG). A total of 121 U.S. women veterans completed diagnostic interviews and underwent a task-free MEG scan from which SNI was computed. Linear discriminant analysis was used to classify PTSD and control groups according to SNI. That discriminant function was then used to classify each individual in the partial recovery and full recovery diagnostic groups as PTSD or control. All individuals were classified correctly (100% accuracy) according to their SNI in their PTSD and control groups. Seventy-seven percent of the full recovery group and 69% of the partial recovery group were classified as control. Individual staging in PTSD recovery was captured by the Mahalanobis D2 distances from the center of the control and PTSD centroid clusters. These findings provide compelling evidence supporting the utility of task-free SNI as a biomarker of PTSD and related outcomes in women veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1125
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VACSR&D Merit Review Award (I01-CX001045). The sponsors had no role in the current study design, analysis or interpretation, or in the writing of this paper. The contents do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.


  • Biomarker
  • Classification
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Recovery
  • Veterans
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Male

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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