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Previous morphology and diffusion-imaging studies have suggested that structural changes in white matter is an important part of the pathophysiology of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). However, different methodological approaches and the heterogeneity of patient samples question the validity of the findings.
Materials and methods
In total, 30 patients were matched for age and sex with 30 healthy controls. All participants underwent T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging and T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery. Voxel-based morphometry and tract-based spatial statistics were used to compare white matter volumes and diffusion tensor imaging between groups. These data were analysed correcting for the effects of multiple comparisons, age, sex, severity and duration of illness as nuisance covariates. White matter hyperintensities were manually identified.
Increase in fractional anisotropy in cerebellum was the most prominent result. A decrease in fractional anisotrophy in patients comparable with previous studies was located in forceps minor. There were no differences in the white matter morphology or in the white matter hyperintensities between patients and healthy controls.
Decrease in fractional anisotrophy in forceps minor and increase in cerebellum were found, and they were not due to neither white matter hyperintensities nor morphology of the white matter. Cerebellar hyperconnectivity could be an important part of OCD pathophysiology.
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