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The detection of white matter alterations in obsessive–compulsive disorder revealed by TRActs Constrained by UnderLying Anatomy (TRACULA)

Authors Watanabe A, Nakamae T, Sakai Y, Nishida S, Abe Y, Yamada K, Yokota I, Narumoto J

Received 29 January 2018

Accepted for publication 10 April 2018

Published 19 June 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1635—1643


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Anri Watanabe,1 Takashi Nakamae,1 Yuki Sakai,2 Seiji Nishida,1 Yoshinari Abe,1 Kei Yamada,3 Isao Yokota,4 Jin Narumoto1

1Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan; 2Department of Neural Computation for Decision-Making, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International Brain Information Communication Research Laboratory Group, Kyoto, Japan; 3Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan; 4Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan

Purpose: In recent years, a large number of studies have investigated obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) using diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) and have reported microstructural abnormalities in various regions, mainly the corpus callosum and cingulum. In the present study, we aimed to detect microstructural changes in the white matter using whole-brain tractography.
Patients and methods: We obtained MRI data from 25 adult non-medicated OCD patients and 27 healthy controls. DWI data from MRI scans were analyzed by the automated probabilistic tractography method referred to as TRActs Constrained by UnderLying Anatomy (TRACULA). We investigated diffusivity parameters: fractional anisotropy, radial diffusivity (RD), axial diffusivity, and mean diffusivity in 18 major white matter tracts and examined indices to know which measurements in which fibers can predict the diagnosis of OCD.
Results: Compared to healthy controls, OCD patients had significantly increased RD in the forceps major and a reduction of RD in the right cingulum angular (infracallosal) bundle. There was no correlation between these values and the clinical features.
Conclusion: We found RD alterations in the forceps major and the right cingulum angular (infracallosal) bundle, which might be associated with myelination changes in the temporal and occipital regions in OCD. Our results suggest that the pathogenesis of OCD may include abonormality of myelination status in not only the fronto-striato-thalamic circuit but also the posterior and temporal regions.

Keywords: tractography, radial diffusivity, forceps major, cingulum

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