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Default network connectivity as a vulnerability marker for obsessive compulsive disorder

  • Z. W. Peng (a1) (a2) (a3), T. Xu (a1) (a4), Q. H. He (a3), C. Z. Shi (a5), Z. Wei (a3), G. D. Miao (a3), J. Jing (a6), K. O. Lim (a7), X. N. Zuo (a4) (a8) and R. C. K. Chan (a1) (a8)...



Aberrant functional connectivity within the default network is generally assumed to be involved in the pathophysiology of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); however, the genetic risk of default network connectivity in OCD remains largely unknown.


Here, we systematically investigated default network connectivity in 15 OCD patients, 15 paired unaffected siblings and 28 healthy controls. We sought to examine the profiles of default network connectivity in OCD patients and their siblings, exploring the correlation between abnormal default network connectivity and genetic risk for this population.


Compared with healthy controls, OCD patients exhibited reduced strength of default network functional connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and increased functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal lobe, insula, superior parietal cortex and superior temporal cortex, while their unaffected first-degree siblings only showed reduced local connectivity in the PCC.


These findings suggest that the disruptions of default network functional connectivity might be associated with family history of OCD. The decreased default network connectivity in both OCD patients and their unaffected siblings may serve as a potential marker of OCD.


Corresponding author

* Address for correspondence: R. C. K. Chan, Ph.D. and Xi-Nian Zuo, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 16 Lincui Road, Beijing 100101, People's Republic of China. (Email: [R.C.K.C.] (Email: [X.N.Z.]


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