JOURNAL ARTICLE

Widespread changes of white matter microstructure in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Effect of drug status

Francesco Benedetti, Chiara Giacosa, Daniele Radaelli, Sara Poletti, Elena Pozzi, Sara Dallaspezia, Andrea Falini, Enrico Smeraldi
European Neuropsychopharmacology: the Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2013, 23 (7): 581-93
22954900
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) allows the study of white matter (WM) structure. Literature suggests that WM structure could be altered in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) proportional to the severity of the disease. Heterogeneity of brain imaging methods, of the studied samples, and of drug treatments make localization, nature, and severity of the WM abnormalities unclear. We applied Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) of DTI measures to compare fractional anisotropy (FA), mean, axial, and radial diffusivity of the WM skeleton in a group of 40 consecutively admitted inpatients affected by severe OCD (18 drug-naive, and 22 with an ongoing drug treatment) and 41 unrelated healthy volunteers from the general population. Data were analyzed accounting for the effects of multiple comparisons, and of age, sex, and education as nuisance covariates. Compared to controls, OCD patients showed a widespread reduction of FA with a concurrent increase of mean and radial diffusivity. In no brain areas patients had higher FA or lower diffusivity values than controls. These differences were observed in drug-treated patients compared to drug-naive patients and healthy controls, which in turn did not differ among themselves in any DTI measure. Reduced FA with increased mean and radial diffusivity suggests significant changes in myelination of WM tracts, without axonal loss. Drug treatments could modify the structure of cell membranes and myelin sheaths by influencing cellular lipogenesis, cholesterol homeostasis, autophagy, oligodendrocyte differentiation and remyelination. Changes of DTI measures in drug-treated OCD patients could reflect pathophysiological underpinnings of OCD, or a yet unexplored part of the mechanism of action of drugs.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
22954900
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"