Regional gray and white matter volume abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a voxel-based morphometry study

Osamu Togao, Takashi Yoshiura, Tomohiro Nakao, Maiko Nabeyama, Hirokuni Sanematsu, Akiko Nakagawa, Tomoyuki Noguchi, Akio Hiwatashi, Koji Yamashita, Eiki Nagao, Shigenobu Kanba, Hiroshi Honda
Psychiatry Research 2010 October 30, 184 (1): 29-37
Previous studies have demonstrated both functional and structural abnormalities in the frontal-striatal-thalamic circuits in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The purpose of this study was to assess volume abnormalities not only of gray matter (GM), but also of white matter (WM) in patients with OCD using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Subjects consisted of 23 patients with OCD and 26 normal control subjects. All patients were drug-free for at least 2 weeks before the study. Three-dimensional T1-weighed MR images were obtained in all subjects. Optimized voxel-based morphometry was performed to detect structural difference between the two groups. The patients with OCD demonstrated a significant reduction of GM volume in the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, right premotor area, right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and bilateral temporal and occipital regions. The OCD patients also showed a significant WM volume increase in the right anterior limb of the internal capsule, right orbitofrontal region, and a significant WM volume reduction in the left anterior cingulate gyrus. Our findings are consistent with previous studies implicating dysfunction of the frontal cortex including the OFC. The results suggested that WM volume abnormalities in the orbitofrontal region, anterior limb of the internal capsule, and anterior cingulate gyrus would imply abnormalities in the pathways of frontal-striatal circuits.

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