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Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Jun;161(6):1049-56.

Brain structural abnormalities in psychotropic drug-naive pediatric patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry Research, Zucker Hilside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY 11004, USA.



The authors investigated structural abnormalities in brain regions comprising cortical-striatal-thalamic-cortical loops in pediatric patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


Volumes of the caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus and gray and white matter volumes of the anterior cingulate gyrus and superior frontal gyrus were computed from contiguous 1.5-mm magnetic resonance images from 23 psychotropic drug-naive pediatric patients with OCD (seven male patients and 16 female patients) and 27 healthy volunteers (12 male subjects and 15 female subjects).


Patients had smaller globus pallidus volumes than healthy volunteers, but the two groups did not differ in volumes of the caudate nucleus, putamen, or frontal white matter regions. Compared to healthy volunteers, patients had more total gray matter in the anterior cingulate gyrus but not the superior frontal gyrus. Total anterior cingulate gyrus volume correlated significantly and positively with globus pallidus volume in the healthy volunteers but not in patients.


These findings provide evidence of smaller globus pallidus volume in patients with OCD without the potentially confounding effects of prior psychotropic drug exposure. Volumetric abnormalities in the anterior cingulate gyrus appear specific to the gray matter in OCD, at least at the gross anatomic level, and are consistent with findings of functional neuroimaging studies that have reported anterior cingulate hypermetabolism in the disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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