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Eur Psychiatry. 2013 Oct;28(8):499-506. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

The structure of the corpus callosum in obsessive compulsive disorder.

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IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy; Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, University of L'Aquila, Piazzale Salvatore Tommasi 1, 67010 L'Aquila-Coppito, Italy. Electronic address:


Abnormal brain connectivity has recently been reported in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, structural differences in the corpus callosum (CC), the primary structure connecting the two hemispheres, have not been extensively studied. In this case-control study, we recruited 30 patients with OCD and 30 healthy control subjects carefully matched for age, sex and handedness. Combining surface-based mesh-modeling and voxel-based morphometry (VBM), we compared callosal thickness and white matter (WM) density in patients and controls. We investigated associations between callosal structure and cortical gray matter (GM) density, and we related CC measures to neuropsychological performance in OCD. OCD patients showed small anterior and posterior callosal regions compared to healthy control subjects. In the OCD group, anterior callosal thickness was positively correlated with GM density of the right mid-dorso-lateral prefrontal (BA 9/46) area, while posterior callosal thickness was positively correlated with GM density in the left supramarginal gyrus (BA 40). Moreover, posterior callosal WM density was positively correlated with verbal memory, visuo-spatial memory, verbal fluency, and visuo-spatial reasoning performances. Callosal attributes were related to GM density in cortical areas innervated by the CC, and were also related to performance in cognitive domains impaired in the disorder. The CC may therefore be integrally involved in OCD.


Corpus callosum; Cortical gray matter; Diffusion tensor imaging; Neuropsychological tests; Region of interest; Voxel-based morphometry

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