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July 1996

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Symptom Provocation in Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center, Department of Radiology (Drs Breiter, Rauch, Kwong, Baker, Weisskoff, Kennedy, Jiang, Stern, Belliveau, O'Sullivan, and Rosen and Mr Davis), and Department of Psychiatry (Drs Breiter, Rauch, Baer, O'Sullivan, Savage, and Jenike and Ms Kendrick), Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston; and Department of Neurology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif (Dr Cohen).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(7):595-606. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830070041008

Background:  The new technique of functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate the mediating neuroanatomy of obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms.

Methods:  Ten patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and 5 normal subjects were studied via functional magnetic resonance imaging during control and provoked conditions. Data analysis entailed parametric and nonparametric statistical mapping.

Results:  Statistical maps (nonparametric; P<10-3) showed activation for 70% or more of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder in medial orbitofrontal, lateral frontal, anterior temporal, anterior cingulate, and insular cortex, as well as caudate, lenticulate, and amygdala. No normal subjects exhibited activation in any brain region.

Conclusions:  Results of functional magnetic resonance imaging were consistent with past studies of obsessive-compulsive disorder that used other functional neuroimaging modalities. However, paralimbic and limbic activations were more prominent in the present study.