Disrupted white matter integrity and abnormal cortical thickness are widely reported in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, the relationship between alterations in white matter connectivity and cortical thickness in OCD is unclear. In addition, the heritability of this relationship is poorly understood. To investigate the relationship of white matter microstructure with cortical thickness, we measure fractional anisotropy (FA) of white matter in 30 OCD patients, 19 unaffected siblings and 30 matched healthy controls. Then, we take those regions of significantly altered FA in OCD patients compared with healthy controls to perform fiber tracking. Next, we calculate the fiber quantity in the same tracts. Lastly, we compare cortical thickness in the target regions of those tracts. Patients with OCD exhibited decreased FA in cingulum, arcuate fibers near the superior parietal lobule, inferior longitudinal fasciculus near the right superior temporal gyrus and uncinate fasciculus. Siblings showed reduced FA in arcuate fibers near the superior parietal lobule and anterior limb of internal capsule. Significant reductions in both fiber quantities and cortical thickness in OCD patients and their unaffected siblings were also observed in the projected brain areas when using the arcuate fibers near the left superior parietal lobule as the starting points. Reduced FA in the left superior parietal lobule was observed not only in patients with OCD but also in their unaffected siblings. Originated from the superior parietal lobule, the number of fibers was also found to be decreased and the corresponding cortical regions were thinner relative to controls. The linkage between disrupted white matter integrity and the abnormal cortical thickness may be a vulnerability marker for OCD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)