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Psychol Med. 2019 Jul 5:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S0033291719001429. [Epub ahead of print]

Impairment in the goal-directed corticostriatal learning system as a biomarker for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Author information

1
Center for the Study of Applied Psychology, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science and School of Psychology,South China Normal University,Guangzhou,China.
2
Southern Medical University,Guangzhou,China.
3
Department of Psychiatry,the Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University,Guangzhou,China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Compulsive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have been related to impairment within the associative cortical-striatal system connecting the caudate and prefrontal cortex that underlies consciously-controlled goal-directed learning and behavior. However, little is known whether this impairment may serve as a biomarker for vulnerability to OCD.

METHODS:

Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we employed Granger causality analysis (GCA) to measure effective connectivity (EC) in previously validated striatal sub-regions, including the caudate, putamen, and the nucleus accumbens, in 35 OCD patients, 35 unaffected first-degree relatives and 35 matched healthy controls.

RESULTS:

Both OCD patients and their first-degree relatives showed greater EC than controls between the left caudate and the orbital frontal cortex (OFC). Both OCD patients and their first-degree relatives showed lower EC than controls between the left caudate and lateral prefrontal cortex. These results are consistent with findings from task-related fMRI studies which found impairment in the goal-directed system in OCD patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

The same changes in EC were present in both OCD patients and their unaffected first-degree relatives suggest that impairment in the goal-directed learning system may be a biomarker for OCD.

KEYWORDS:

Goal-directed system; Granger causality analysis; Striatum; habitual system; obsessive-compulsive disorder

PMID:
31272523
DOI:
10.1017/S0033291719001429

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