Voxel-Based Morphometry Study of Gray Matter Abnormalities in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Journal of Korean Medical Science (Impact Factor: 1.27). 03/2008; 23(1):24-30. DOI: 10.3346/jkms.2008.23.1.24
Source: PubMed


To examine regional abnormalities in the brains of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), we assessed the gray matter (GM) density using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). We compared magnetic resonance images (MRIs) acquired from 71 OCD patients and 71 age- and gender-matched normal controls and examined the relationship between GM density and various clinical variables in OCD patients. We also investigated whether GM density differs among the subtypes of OCD compared to healthy controls. We detected significant reduction of GM in the inferior frontal gyrus, the medial frontal gyrus, the insula, the cingulate gyrus, and the superior temporal gyrus of OCD patients. A significant increase in GM density was observed in the postcentral gyrus, the thalamus, and the putamen. Some of these regions, including the insular and postcentral gyrus, were also associated with the severity of obsessive- compulsive symptoms. These findings indicate that the frontal-subcortical circuitry is dysfunctional in OCD, and suggest that the parietal cortex may play a role in the pathophysiology of this disease.

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Available from: Jung-Seok Choi, Jan 04, 2014
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    • "The putamen, which belongs to the basal ganglia, has widely spread functional connections with cortical and subcortical areas in the brain [44]. The putamen has been suggested to be related to a number of anxiety disorders and anxiety symptoms, such as GAD [45], social anxiety disorder [45], posttraumatic stress disorder [46], panic disorder [47], obsessive-compulsive disorder [48], lactated-induced anxiety [49] and anxiety symptoms in Parkinson disease [50]. Besides, GAD patients often accompany with somatic symptoms which are associated with sympathetic dysregulation [51]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that usually begins in adolescence. Childhood maltreatment is highly prevalent and increases the possibility for developing a variety of mental disorders including anxiety disorders. An earlier age at onset of GAD is significantly related to maltreatment in childhood. Exploring the underpinnings of the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adolescent onset GAD would be helpful in identifying the potential risk markers of this condition. Twenty-six adolescents with GAD and 25 healthy controls participated in this study. A childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ) was introduced to assess childhood maltreatment. All subjects underwent high-resolution structural magnetic resonance scans. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to investigate gray matter alterations. Significantly larger gray matter volumes of the right putamen were observed in GAD patients compared to healthy controls. In addition, a significant diagnosis-by-maltreatment interaction effect for the left thalamic gray matter volume was revealed, as shown by larger volumes of the left thalamic gray matter in GAD patients with childhood maltreatment compared with GAD patients without childhood maltreatment as well as with healthy controls with/without childhood maltreatment. A significant positive association between childhood maltreatment and left thalamic gray matter volume was only seen in GAD patients. These findings revealed an increased volume in the subcortical regions in adolescent GAD, and the alterations in the left thalamus might be involved in the association between childhood maltreatment and the occurrence of GAD.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Brain regions most consistently found to be abnormal in humans with OCD include the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula, thalamus , corpus callosum, and striatum (Song et al., 2011; Zarei et al., 2011). ACC abnormalities include reduced gray matter volumes and densities (Carmona et al., 2007; Gilbert et al., 2008; Matsumoto et al., 2010b; Rotge et al., 2010; Valente et al., 2005; Yoo et al., 2008). Fractional anisotropy abnormalities have been found in the corpus callosum (den Braber et al., 2011; Garibotto et al., 2010; Nakamae et al., 2011; Yoo et al., 2007; Zarei et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating condition, the etiology of which is poorly understood, in part because it often remains undiagnosed/untreated for a decade or more. Characterizing the etiology of compulsive disorders in animal models may facilitate earlier diagnosis and intervention. Doberman pinschers have a high prevalence of an analogous behavioral disorder termed canine compulsive disorder (CCD), which in many cases responds to treatments used for OCD. Thus, studies of CCD may help elucidate the etiology of compulsive disorders. We compared brain structure in Dobermans with CCD (N=8) and unaffected controls (N=8) to determine whether CCD is associated with structural abnormalities comparable to those reported in humans with OCD. We obtained 3 Tesla magnetic resonance structural and diffusion images from anesthetized Dobermans and subjected images to segmentation, voxel based morphometry, and diffusion tensor analyses. CCD dogs exhibited higher total brain and gray matter volumes and lower dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and right anterior insula gray matter densities. CCD dogs also had higher fractional anisotropy in the splenium of the corpus callosum, the degree of which correlated with the severity of the behavioral phenotype. Together, these findings suggest that CCD is associated with structural abnormalities paralleling those identified in humans with OCD. Accordingly, the CCD model, which has a number of advantages over other animal models of OCD, may assist in establishing the neuroanatomical basis for and etiology of compulsive disorders, which could lead to earlier diagnosis of and new treatments for humans and animals with these disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
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    • "uncorrected). On the other hand, results regarding the insular cortex seem more contradictory, since two studies (Kim et al., 2001; Valente et al., 2005) report increased GM volume in the right and left insula respectively, while two other papers (Yoo et al., 2008; Pujol et al., 2004) describe volume reduction in the same regions. However, such dissimilar morphometric findings could be explained considering the functional and anatomical distinction between anterior (AIC) and posterior (PIC) regions of the insular cortex and the clinical heterogeneity in OCD. "
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    ABSTRACT: The most widely accepted model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) assumes brain abnormalities in the “affective circuit”, mainly consisting of volume reduction in the medial orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate and temporolimbic cortices, and tissue expansion in the striatum and thalamus. The advent of whole-brain, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) has provided increasing evidence that regions outside the “affective” orbitofronto-striatal circuit are involved in OCD. Nevertheless, potential confounds from the different image analysis methods, as well as other factors, such as patients' medication and comorbidity status, may limit generalization of results.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Cortex
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