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Obsession and delusion are theoretically distinct from each other in terms of reality testing. Despite such phenomenological distinction, no extant studies have examined the identification of common and distinct neural correlates of obsession and delusion by employing biologically grounded methods. Here, we investigated dimensional effects of obsession and delusion spanning across the traditional diagnostic boundaries reflected upon the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) using connectome-wide association studies (CWAS).
Our study sample comprised of 96 patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder, 75 patients with schizophrenia, and 65 healthy controls. A connectome-wide analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between obsession and delusion severity and RFSC using multivariate distance-based matrix regression.
Obsession was associated with the supplementary motor area, precentral gyrus, and superior parietal lobule, while delusion was associated with the precuneus. Follow-up seed-based RSFC and modularity analyses revealed that obsession was related to aberrant inter-network connectivity strength. Additional inter-network analyses demonstrated the association between obsession severity and inter-network connectivity between the frontoparietal control network and the dorsal attention network.
Our CWAS study based on the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) provides novel evidence for the circuit-level functional dysconnectivity associated with obsession and delusion severity across diagnostic boundaries. Further refinement and accumulation of biomarkers from studies embedded within the RDoC framework would provide useful information in treating individuals who have some obsession or delusion symptoms but cannot be identified by the category of clinical symptoms alone.
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