The authors thank the psychotherapists of the OCD outpatient clinic for helping with stimulus and patient selection and Rainer Kniesche for technical support. This study was supported by grant SI 1131/2-1 from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
Fronto-striato-limbic hyperactivation in obsessive-compulsive disorder during individually tailored symptom provocation
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2010
Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 47, Issue 4, pages 728–738, July 2010
How to Cite
Simon, D., Kaufmann, C., Müsch, K., Kischkel, E. and Kathmann, N. (2010), Fronto-striato-limbic hyperactivation in obsessive-compulsive disorder during individually tailored symptom provocation. Psychophysiology, 47: 728–738. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.00980.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2010
- (Received June 17, 2009; Accepted August 23, 2009)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Anxiety disorders have been linked to a hyperactivated cortico-amygdalar circuitry, but the amygdala's role in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) remains unclear. This fMRI study examined the cortico-limbic correlates of individually tailored symptom provocation in 14 unmedicated OCD patients and 14 controls. In addition to OCD-relevant pictures, aversive and neutral control stimuli were included. Patients showed increased fronto-striatal activation to OCD-relevant stimuli contrasted with both control categories. Briefly presented symptom-related triggers elicited stronger amygdala engagement in patients than in controls. This effect, however, did also occur to aversive stimuli and was not symptom specific. Augmented amygdala involvement in patients reflects general emotional hyperarousal. Symptom-specific frontal activation points towards a sustained endeavor to suppress exaggerated emotional responses to OCD triggers.