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PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35889. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035889. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Abnormalities of white matter microstructure in unmedicated obsessive-compulsive disorder and changes after medication.

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  • 1Shanghai Mental Health Center, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Abnormalities of myelin integrity have been reported in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) using multi-parameter maps of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). However, it was still unknown to what degree these abnormalities might be affected by pharmacological treatment.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether the abnormalities of white matter microstructure including myelin integrity exist in OCD and whether they are affected by medication.

METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Parameter maps of DTI, including fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD), were acquired from 27 unmedicated OCD patients (including 13 drug-naïve individuals) and 23 healthy controls. Voxel-based analysis was then performed to detect regions with significant group difference. We compared the DTI-derived parameters of 15 patients before and after 12-week Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) therapies. Significant differences of DTI-derived parameters were observed between OCD and healthy groups in multiple structures, mainly within the fronto-striato-thalamo-cortical loop. An increased RD in combination with no change in AD among OCD patients was found in the left medial superior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal lobe, occipital lobe, striatum, insula and right midbrain. There was no statistical difference in DTI-derived parameters between drug-naive and previously medicated OCD patients. After being medicated, OCD patients showed a reduction in RD of the left striatum and right midbrain, and in MD of the right midbrain.

CONCLUSION:

Our preliminary findings suggest that abnormalities of white matter microstructure, particularly in terms of myelin integrity, are primarily located within the fronto-striato-thalamo-cortical circuit of individuals with OCD. Some abnormalities may be partly reversed by SSRI treatment.

PMID:
22558258
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3338776
Free PMC Article

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