Morphometric and connectivity white matter abnormalities in obsessive compulsive disorder

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Óscar F Goncalves, Sandra Carvalho, Jorge Leite, Ana Fernandes-Gonçalves, Angel Carracedo, Adriana Sampaio
Publisher: Public Knowledge Project > Open Journal Systems
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (2378-1890)
Volume number: 3
Issue number: 1
ISSN: 2378-1890
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Two psychological mechanisms seem to be associated with the
obsessive-compulsive cycle: (1) an emotional mechanism characterized by
intense emotional arousal associated with intrusive thoughts of
impending danger; (2) a cognitive mechanism exemplified by difficulties
with inhibitory control. More recently, several studies found more
extensive cognitive deficits in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
beyond problems of inhibitory control and emotional regulation, namely:
visual-spatial processing and memory. Thus, there is now extensive
research showing that alterations of these psychological mechanisms in
OCD (i.e., inhibitory control, emotional regulation, working memory, and
visual spatial processing) are associated with morphological gray
matter alterations in widespread brain regions. More recently,
researchers have started looking at white matter abnormalities in OCD.
In this article we review the research looking at white matter
morphometric and structural connectivity alterations in OCD. Altogether,
while some contradictory findings are still present, there is now
evidence for widespread white matter morphometric and connectivity
abnormalities affecting major white matter tracts (superior longitudinal
fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, inferior longitudinal
fasciculus, cingulum bundle, semioval center, internal capsule,
different regions of the corpus callosum, thalamic radiation, uncinate
fasciculus and optic radiation) as well as white matter in regions
adjacent to gray matter structures (superior frontal gyrus, dorsolateral
prefrontal medial frontal cortex; inferior frontal gyrus, caudate,
insulate cortex, parietal cortex, supramarginal and lingual gyri, and
thalamus). These white matter alterations may help explaining the
diversity of OCD psychological impairments in inhibitory control,
emotional regulation, memory and visual spatial processing.


Diffusion tensor imaging, Obsessive compulsive disorder, White matter


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Last updated on 2019-10-08 at 00:15