2015 Volume 14 Issue 4 Pages 329-335
Objectives: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most debilitating psychiatric disorders, with some speculating that a reason for difficulty in its treatment might be its coexistence with autism spectrum. We investigated the tendency for autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) in patients with OCD from a neuroimaging point of view using voxel-based morphometry.
Methods: We acquired T1-weighted images from 20 patients with OCD and 30 healthy controls and investigated the difference in regional volume between the groups as well as the correlation between Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores and regional cerebral volumes of patients with OCD.
Results: Volumes in the bilateral middle frontal gyri were significantly decreased in patients with OCD compared to controls. Correlational analysis showed significant positive correlations between AQ scores and regional gray matter (GM) volumes in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and left amygdala. Furthermore, GM volumes of these regions were positively correlated with each other.
Conclusions: The positive correlation of ASD traits in patients with OCD with regional GM volumes in the left DLPFC and amygdala could reflect the heterogeneity of patient symptoms. Our results suggest that differences in GM volume might allow classification of patients with OCD for appropriate therapy based on their particular traits.