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Cerebral structural abnormalities in obsessive-compulsive disorder. A quantitative morphometric magnetic resonance imaging study.

Authors:
Jenike MA, Breiter HC, Baer L, Kennedy DN, Savage CR, Olivares MJ, O'Sullivan RL, Shera DM, Rauch SL, Keuthen N, Rosen BR, Caviness VS, Filipek PA
Affiliation:
Journal:
Archives of general psychiatry

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A previous pilot study of only posterior brain regions found lower white-matter volume in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder than in normal control subjects. We used new cohorts of patients and matched normal control subjects to study whole-brain volume differences between these groups with magnetic resonance imaging-based morphometry. METHODS: Ten female patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and 10 female control subjects, matched for handedness, age, weight, education, and verbal IQ, underwent magnetic resonance imaging with a 3-dimensional volumetric protocol. Scans were blindly normalized and segmented by means of well-characterized semiautomated intensity contour mapping and differential intensity contour algorithms. Brain structures investigated included the cerebral hemispheres, cerebral cortex, diencephalon, caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, hippocampus amygdala, third and fourth ventricles, corpus callosum, operculum, cerebellum, and brain stem. Anterior to posterior neocortical regions, including precallosum, anterior pericallosum, posterior pericallosum, and retrocallosum, with adjacent white matter were also measured. Volumes found different between groups were correlated with Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale score and Rey-Osterieth Complex Figure Test measures. RESULTS: Confirming results of our earlier pilot study and expanding the findings to the whole brain, patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder had significantly less total white matter but, in addition, significantly greater total cortex and opercular volumes. Severity of obsessive-compulsive disorder and nonverbal immediate memory correlated with opercular volume. CONCLUSIONS: Replication of volumetric white-matter differences suggests a widely distributed structural brain abnormality in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Whereas determining the etiogenesis may require research at a microscopic level, understanding its functional significance can be further explored via functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies.

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