Abnormal striatal resting-state functional connectivity in adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Gail A. Bernstein, Bryon A. Mueller, Melinda Westlund Schreiner, Sarah M. Campbell, Emily K. Regan, Peter M. Nelson, Alaa K. Houri, Susanne S. Lee, Alexandra D. Zagoloff, Kelvin O. Lim, Essa S. Yacoub, Kathryn R. Cullen

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37 Scopus citations


Neuroimaging research has implicated abnormalities in cortico-striatal-thalamic-cortical (CSTC) circuitry in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In this study, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) was used to investigate functional connectivity in the CSTC circuitry in adolescents with OCD. Imaging was obtained with the Human Connectome Project (HCP) scanner using newly developed pulse sequences which allow for higher spatial and temporal resolution. Fifteen adolescents with OCD and 13 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (ages 12-19) underwent R-fMRI on the 3T HCP scanner. Twenty-four minutes of resting-state scans (two consecutive 12-min scans) were acquired. We investigated functional connectivity of the striatum using a seed-based, whole brain approach with anatomically-defined seeds placed in the bilateral caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens. Adolescents with OCD compared with controls exhibited significantly lower functional connectivity between the left putamen and a single cluster of right-sided cortical areas including parts of the orbitofrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, insula, and operculum. Preliminary findings suggest that impaired striatal connectivity in adolescents with OCD in part falls within the predicted CSTC network, and also involves impaired connections between a key CSTC network region (i.e., putamen) and key regions in the salience network (i.e., insula/operculum). The relevance of impaired putamen-insula/operculum connectivity in OCD is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
StatePublished - Jan 30 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


  • Functional MRI
  • Insula
  • Neuroimaging
  • Operculum
  • Striatum


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