Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 9-29

Neuroimaging findings in obsessive–compulsive disorder: A narrative review to elucidate neurobiological underpinnings

1 Department of Psychiatry, Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, OCD Clinic, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Janardhanan C Narayanaswamy
Department of Psychiatry, OCD Clinic, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_525_18

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Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common psychiatric illness and significant research has been ongoing to understand its neurobiological basis. Neuroimaging studies right from the 1980s have revealed significant differences between OCD patients and healthy controls. Initial imaging findings showing hyperactivity in the prefrontal cortex (mainly orbitofrontal cortex), anterior cingulate cortex and caudate nucleus led to the postulation of the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) model for the neurobiology of OCD. However, in the last two decades emerging evidence suggests the involvement of widespread associative networks, including regions of the parietal cortex, limbic areas (including amygdala) and cerebellum. This narrative review discusses findings from structural [Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging(DTI)], functional [(functional MRI (fMRI), Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), Positron emission tomography (PET), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)], combined structural and functional imaging studies and meta-analyses. Subsequently, we collate these findings to describe the neurobiology of OCD including CSTC circuit, limbic system, parietal cortex, cerebellum, default mode network and salience network. In future, neuroimaging may emerge as a valuable tool for personalised medicine in OCD treatment.



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