Relationship between symptom dimensions and brain morphology in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Motohisa Hirose, Yoshiyuki Hirano, Kiyotaka Nemoto, Chihiro Sutoh, Kenichi Asano, Haruko Miyata, Junko Matsumoto, Michiko Nakazato, Koji Matsumoto, Yoshitada Masuda, Masaomi Iyo, Eiji Shimizu, Akiko Nakagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is known as a clinically heterogeneous disorder characterized by symptom dimensions. Although substantial numbers of neuroimaging studies have demonstrated the presence of brain abnormalities in OCD, their results are controversial. The clinical heterogeneity of OCD could be one of the reasons for this. It has been hypothesized that certain brain regions contributed to the respective obsessive-compulsive dimensions. In this study, we investigated the relationship between symptom dimensions of OCD and brain morphology using voxel-based morphometry to discover the specific regions showing alterations in the respective dimensions of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The severities of symptom dimensions in thirty-three patients with OCD were assessed using Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R). Along with numerous MRI studies pointing out brain abnormalities in autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) patients, a previous study reported a positive correlation between ASD traits and regional gray matter volume in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and amygdala in OCD patients. We investigated the correlation between gray and white matter volumes at the whole brain level and each symptom dimension score, treating all remaining dimension scores, age, gender, and ASD traits as confounding covariates. Our results revealed a significant negative correlation between washing symptom dimension score and gray matter volume in the right thalamus and a significant negative correlation between hoarding symptom dimension score and white matter volume in the left angular gyrus. Although our result was preliminary, our findings indicated that there were specific brain regions in gray and white matter that contributed to symptom dimensions in OCD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1326-1333
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Hoarding symptom
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive inventory-revised
  • Thalamus
  • Voxel-based morphometry
  • Washing symptom


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between symptom dimensions and brain morphology in obsessive-compulsive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this