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Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was used to evaluate metabolic changes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD).
In total, 14 OCD patients (mean age 28.9±7.2 years) and 14 healthy controls (mean age 32.6±7.1 years) with no history of neurological and psychiatric illness participated in this study. Brain metabolite concentrations were measured from a localised voxel on the right DLPFC using a 3-Tesla 1H-MRS.
The metabolic concentration of myo-inositol in patients with OCD increased significantly by 52% compared with the healthy controls, whereas glutamine/glutamate was decreased by 11%. However, there were no significant differences in N-acetylaspartate, choline, lactate and lipid between the two groups.
These findings would be helpful to understand the pathophysiology of OCD associated with the brain metabolic abnormalities in the right DLPFC.
We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to discriminate the differential brain activation patterns in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and healthy controls during implicit retrieval tasks with emotionally neutral and unpleasant words.
Sixteen patients with OCD (mean age: 31.4±10.1 years) and 16 healthy controls (mean age: 32.6±5.8 years) with no history of neurological or psychiatric illness underwent 3-T fMRI. The stimulation paradigm consisted of the following cycle: rest, encoding of a string of two-syllable words, rest, and retrieval of the previously encoded words with the first consonant omitted.
During the implicit retrieval task with emotionally neutral words, no distinct brain activity was observed in either the patients with OCD or healthy controls. On the other hand, during the retrieval task with unpleasant words, the patients with OCD showed predominant activity in the superior/middle temporal pole, medial superior frontal gyrus, and orbitofrontal cortex (uncorrected p<0.001, extent threshold: 30 voxels), whereas the healthy controls did not show any distinct regions of activation.
This study revealed the differential brain activation patterns between patients with OCD and healthy controls during implicit memory tasks with unpleasant words. Our results suggest that the impact of negative emotion on implicit memory task may be associated with the symptomatology of OCD. This finding may be helpful for understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie implicit memory retrieval, particularly the interaction between emotion and cognition, in patients with OCD.
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