Cortical asymmetries in unaffected siblings of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Ziwen Peng, Gang Li, Feng Shi, Changzheng Shi, Qiong Yang, Raymond C K Chan, Dinggang Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is considered to be associated with atypical brain asymmetry. However, no study has examined the asymmetry in OCD from the perspective of cortical morphometry. This study is aimed to describe the characteristics of cortical asymmetry in OCD patients, and to investigate whether these features exist in their unaffected siblings - a vital step in identifying putative endophenotypes for OCD. A total of 48 subjects (16 OCD patients, 16 unaffected siblings, and 16 matched controls) were recruited who had complete magnetic resonance imaging scans. Left-right hemispheric asymmetries of cortical thickness were measured using a surface-based threshold-free cluster enhancement method. OCD patients and siblings both showed leftward asymmetries of cortical thickness in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which showed a significant positive correlation with compulsive subscale scores. In addition, siblings and healthy controls showed significantly decreased leftward asymmetries in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and the decreased leftward bias in the OFC was accompanied by lower scales on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale. To sum up, leftward asymmetries of cortical thickness in the ACC may represent an endophenotype of increased hereditary risk for OCD, while decreased leftward asymmetries of cortical thickness in the OFC may represent a protective factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 30



  • Cortical thickness
  • Endophenotype
  • Hemispheric asymmetry
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Siblings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)

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