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Trichotillomania (repetitive hair-pulling) is an Axis I psychiatric disorder whose neurobiological basis is incompletely understood. Whole-brain trichotillomania neuroimaging studies are lacking.
To investigate grey and white matter abnormalities over the whole brain in patients with trichotillomania.
Eighteen patients with DSM–IV trichotillomania and 19 healthy controls undertook structural magnetic resonance imaging after providing written informed consent. Differences in grey and white matter were investigated using computational morphometry.
Patients with trichotillomania showed increased grey matter densities in the left striatum, left amygdalo-hippocampal formation, and multiple (including cingulate, supplementary motor, and frontal) cortical regions bilaterally.
Trichotillomania was associated with structural grey matter changes in neural circuitry implicated in habit learning, cognition and affect regulation. These findings inform animal models of the disorder and highlight key regions of interest for future translational research.
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