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Neurosci Lett. 2010 May 3;474(3):158-62. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.03.031. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

Functional connectivity in fronto-subcortical circuitry during the resting state in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Obsessions and compulsions mediated by cognitive inflexibility might be associated with abnormal resting state functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) that represents intrinsically generated neuronal activity. It was hypothesized that decreased functional connectivity in the DMN would occur in components of fronto-subcortical circuits in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Twenty-two unmedicated OCD patients and 22 age- and sex-matched healthy controls received resting state functional scanning runs. The posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) region was chosen as the seed region for the connectivity analysis. Correlations between temporal connectivity with the seed region and scores on clinical measures and obsessive-compulsive symptom dimensions were also assessed. OCD patients demonstrated less functional connectivity within the DMN in the anterior cingulate cortex, middle frontal gyrus, and putamen compared to controls. The functional connectivity to the PCC seed region in OCD patients was in the direction opposite to that in the prefrontal areas with regard to scores on cleaning and obsessions/checking dimensions of OCD. These data provide evidence for fronto-subcortical dysfunction in OCD. Results from this study also support the notion that OCD is a heterogeneous disorder mediated by distinct circuits.

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