Data_Sheet_1_Altered Amygdala Resting-State Functional Connectivity and Hemispheric Asymmetry in Patients With Social Anxiety Disorder.docx
Background: The amygdala plays a key role in emotional hyperreactivity in response to social threat in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). We investigated resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FCN) of the left and right amygdala with various brain regions and functional lateralization in patients with SAD.
Methods: A total of 36 patients with SAD and 42 matched healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at rest. Using the left and right amygdala as seed regions, we compared the strength of the rs-FCN in the patient and control groups. Furthermore, we investigated group differences in the hemispheric asymmetry of the functional connectivity maps of the left and right amygdala.
Results: Compared with healthy controls, the rs-FCN between the left amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was reduced in patients with SAD, whereas left amygdala connectivity with the fusiform gyrus, anterior insula, supramarginal gyrus, and precuneus was increased or positively deflected in the patient group. Additionally, the strength rs-FCN between the left amygdala and anterior insula was positively associated with the severity of the fear of negative evaluation in patients with SAD (r = 0.338, p = 0.044). The rs-FCN between the right amygdala and medial frontal gyrus was decreased in patients with SAD compared with healthy controls, whereas connectivity with the parahippocampal gyrus was greater in the patient group than in the control group. The hemispheric asymmetry patterns in the anterior insula, intraparietal sulcus (IPS), and inferior frontal gyrus of the patient group were opposite those of the control group, and functional lateralization of the connectivity between the amygdala and the IPS was associated with the severity of social anxiety symptoms (r = 0.365, p = 0.037).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that in addition to impaired fronto-amygdala communication, the functional lateralization of amygdala function plays a central role in the pathophysiology of SAD.