Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with a range of emotional abnormalities linked to its defining symptoms, comorbid illnesses and cognitive deficits. The aim of this preliminary study was to examine functional changes in the brain that are associated with experimentally induced sad mood in patients with OCD compared with healthy controls in a frontolimbic circuit relevant to both OCD and mood regulation.
Participants underwent a validated sad mood induction procedure during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Analyses focused on mapping changes in the functional connectivity of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) within and between the 2 groups in response to successfully induced sadness.
We enrolled 11 patients with OCD and 10 age-, sex- and IQ-matched controls in our study. Unlike controls, patients with OCD did not demonstrate predicted increases in functional connectivity between the subgenual ACC and other frontal regions during mood induction. Instead, patients demonstrated heightened connectivity between the subgenual ACC and ventral caudate/nucleus accumbens region and the hypothalamus.
Our study included a small, partially medicated patient cohort that precluded our ability to investigate sex or drug effects, evaluate behavioural differences between the groups and perform a whole-brain analysis.
The ventral striatum and ventral frontal cortex were distinctly and differentially modulated in their connectivity with the subgenual ACC during the experience of sad mood in patients with OCD. These results suggest that, in patients with OCD, induced sadness appears to have provoked a primary subcortical component of the hypothesized “OCD circuit,” which may offer insights into why OCD symptoms tend to develop and worsen during disturbed emotional states.
In the present study, the in-group bias or in-group derogation among mainland Chinese was investigated through a rating task and a recognition test. In two experiments,participants from two universities with similar ranks rated novel faces or names and then had a recognition test. Half of the faces or names were labeled as participants' own university and the other half were labeled as their counterpart. Results showed that, for either faces or names, rating scores for out-group members were consistently higher than those for in-group members, whereas the recognition accuracy showed just the opposite. These results indicated that the attitude and memory for group-relevant information might be dissociated among Mainland Chinese.
Background: Major depressive disorder is associated with functional alterations in activity and resting-state connectivity of the extended medial frontal network. In this study we aimed to examine how task-related medial network activity and connectivity were affected in depression. Methods: 18 patients with major depressive disorder, aged 15- to 24-years-old, were matched with 19 healthy control participants. We characterized task-related activations and deactivations while participants engaged with an executive-control task (the multi-source interference task, MSIT). We used a psycho-physiological interactions approach to examine functional connectivity changes with subgenual anterior cingulate cortex. Voxel-wise statistical maps for each analysis were compared between the patient and control groups. Results: There were no differences between groups in their behavioral performances on the MSIT task, and nor in patterns of activation and deactivation. Assessment of functional connectivity with the subgenual cingulate showed that depressed patients did not demonstrate the same reduction in functional connectivity with the ventral striatum during task performance, but that they showed greater reduction in functional connectivity with adjacent ventromedial frontal cortex. The magnitude of this latter connectivity change predicted the relative activation of task-relevant executive-control regions in depressed patients. Conclusion: The study reinforces the importance of the subgenual cingulate cortex for depression, and demonstrates how dysfunctional connectivity with ventral brain regions might influence executive–attentional processes.
major depressive disorder; cognition; anterior cingulate cortex; striatum; default mode network; connectivity; fMRI; adolescence
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by a constellation of affective, cognitive, and somatic symptoms associated with functional abnormalities in relevant brain systems. Painful stimuli are primarily stressful and can trigger consistent responses in brain regions highly overlapping with the regions altered in MDD patients. Duloxetine has proven to be effective in treating both core emotional symptoms and somatic complaints in depression. This study aimed to assess the effects of duloxetine treatment on brain response to painful stimulation in MDD patients. A total of 13 patients and a reference group of 20 healthy subjects were assessed on three occasions (baseline, treatment week 1, and week 8) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during local application of painful heat stimulation. Treatment with duloxetine was associated with a significant reduction in brain responses to painful stimulation in MDD patients in regions generally showing abnormally enhanced activation at baseline. Clinical improvement was associated with pain-related activation reductions in the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, right prefrontal cortex, and pons. Pontine changes were specifically related to clinical remission. Increased baseline activations in the right prefrontal cortex and reduced deactivations in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex predicted treatment responders at week 8. This is the first fMRI study addressed to assess the effect of duloxetine in MDD. As a novel approach, the application of painful stimulation as a basic neural stressor proved to be effective in mapping brain response changes associated with antidepressant treatment and brain correlates of symptom improvement in regions of special relevance to MDD pathophysiology.
major depressive disorder; fMRI; pain; brain; treatment; duloxetine; depression; unipolar/bipolar; imaging; clinical or preclinical; mood/anxiety/stress disorders; biological psychiatry; fMRI; brain; antidepressant; depression
Inattention to current activity is ubiquitous in everyday situations. Mind wandering is an example of such a state, and its related brain areas have been examined in the literature. However, there is no clear evidence regarding neural rhythmic activities linked to mind wandering. Using a vigilance task with thought sampling and electroencephalography recording, the current study simultaneously examined neural oscillatory activities related to subjectively reported and behaviorally indexed mind wandering. By implementing time-frequency analysis, we found that subjectively reported mind wandering, relative to behaviorally indexed, showed increased gamma band activity at bilateral frontal-central areas. By means of beamformer source imaging, we found subjectively reported mind wandering within the gamma band to be characterized by increased activation in bilateral frontal cortices, supplemental motor area, paracentral cortex and right inferior temporal cortex in comparison to behaviorally indexed mind wandering. These findings dissociate subjectively reported and behaviorally indexed mind wandering and suggest that a higher degree of executive control processes are engaged in subjectively reported mind wandering.
Activity decreases, or deactivations, of midline and parietal cortical brain regions are routinely observed in human functional neuroimaging studies that compare periods of task-based cognitive performance with passive states, such as rest. It is now widely held that such task-induced deactivations index a highly organized ‘default-mode network’ (DMN): a large-scale brain system whose discovery has had broad implications in the study of human brain function and behavior. In this work, we show that common task-induced deactivations from rest also occur outside of the DMN as a function of increased task demand. Fifty healthy adult subjects performed two distinct functional magnetic resonance imaging tasks that were designed to reliably map deactivations from a resting baseline. As primary findings, increases in task demand consistently modulated the regional anatomy of DMN deactivation. At high levels of task demand, robust deactivation was observed in non-DMN regions, most notably, the posterior insular cortex. Deactivation of this region was directly implicated in a performance-based analysis of experienced task difficulty. Together, these findings suggest that task-induced deactivations from rest are not limited to the DMN and extend to brain regions typically associated with integrative sensory and interoceptive processes.
Previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) have reported inconsistent findings, and it is not known whether observed findings are related to abnormalities in axonal structure or myelination.
In this DTI study, we investigated fractional anisotropy, as well as axial and radial diffusivity, in 21 patients with OCD and 29 healthy controls.
We found decreased fractional anisotropy in the body of the corpus callosum in the OCD group, which was underpinned by increased radial diffusivity.
The cross-sectional design was the main limitation.
Our findings of increased radial diffusivity provide preliminary evidence for abnormal myelination in patients with OCD.
The alien hand syndrome is a striking phenomenon characterized by purposeful and autonomous movements that are not voluntarily initiated. This study aimed to examine neural correlates of this rare neurological disorder in a patient with corticobasal degeneration and alien hand syndrome of the left hand.
We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain responses associated with unwanted movements in a case study. Results revealed that alien hand movements involved a network of brain activations including the primary motor cortex, premotor cortex, precuneus, and right inferior frontal gyrus. Conscious and voluntary movements of the alien hand elicited a similar network of brain responses but lacked an activation of the inferior frontal gyrus. The results demonstrate that alien and unwanted movements may engage similar brain networks than voluntary movements, but also imply different functional contributions of prefrontal areas. Since the inferior frontal gyrus was uniquely activated during alien movements, the results provide further support for a specific role of this brain region in inhibitory control over involuntary motor responses.
We discuss the outcome of this study as providing evidence for a distributed neural network associated with unwanted movements in alien hand syndrome, including brain regions known to be related to movement execution and planning as well as areas that have been linked to inhibition control (inferior frontal gyrus) and experience of agency (precuneus).
Nociceptive stimuli may evoke brain responses longer than the stimulus duration often partially detected by conventional neuroimaging. Fibromyalgia patients typically complain of severe pain from gentle stimuli. We aimed to characterize brain response to painful pressure in fibromyalgia patients by generating activation maps adjusted for the duration of brain responses.
Twenty-seven women (mean age: 47.8 years) were assessed with fMRI. The sample included nine fibromyalgia patients and nine healthy subjects who received 4 kg/cm2 of pressure on the thumb. Nine additional control subjects received 6.8 kg/cm2 to match the patients for the severity of perceived pain. Independent Component Analysis characterized the temporal dynamics of the actual brain response to pressure. Statistical parametric maps were estimated using the obtained time courses. Brain response to pressure (18 seconds) consistently exceeded the stimulus application (9 seconds) in somatosensory regions in all groups. fMRI maps following such temporal dynamics showed a complete pain network response (sensory-motor cortices, operculo-insula, cingulate cortex, and basal ganglia) to 4 kg/cm2 of pressure in fibromyalgia patients. In healthy subjects, response to this low intensity pressure involved mainly somatosensory cortices. When matched for perceived pain (6.8 kg/cm2), control subjects showed also comprehensive activation of pain-related regions, but fibromyalgia patients showed significantly larger activation in the anterior insula-basal ganglia complex and the cingulate cortex.
The results suggest that data-driven fMRI assessments may complement conventional neuroimaging for characterizing pain responses and that enhancement of brain activation in fibromyalgia patients may be particularly relevant in emotion-related regions.
There is growing interest in the nature of slow variations of the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal observed in functional MRI resting-state studies. In humans, these slow BOLD variations are thought to reflect an underlying or intrinsic form of brain functional connectivity in discrete neuroanatomical systems. While these ‘resting-state networks’ may be relatively enduring phenomena, other evidence suggest that dynamic changes in their functional connectivity may also emerge depending on the brain state of subjects during scanning.
In this study, we examined healthy subjects (n = 24) with a mood induction paradigm during two continuous fMRI recordings to assess the effects of a change in self-generated mood state (neutral to sad) on the functional connectivity of these resting-state networks (n = 24). Using independent component analysis, we identified five networks that were common to both experimental states, each showing dominant signal fluctuations in the very low frequency domain (∼0.04 Hz). Between the two states, we observed apparent increases and decreases in the overall functional connectivity of these networks. Primary findings included increased connectivity strength of a paralimbic network involving the dorsal anterior cingulate and anterior insula cortices with subjects' increasing sadness and decreased functional connectivity of the ‘default mode network’.
These findings support recent studies that suggest the functional connectivity of certain resting-state networks may, in part, reflect a dynamic image of the current brain state. In our study, this was linked to changes in subjective mood.
Genetic and biochemical studies have shown that Ser20 phosphorylation in the transactivation domain of p53 mediates p300-catalyzed DNA-dependent p53 acetylation and B-cell tumor suppression. However, the protein kinases that mediate this modification are not well defined. A cell-free Ser20 phosphorylation site assay was used to identify a broad range of calcium calmodulin kinase superfamily members, including CHK2, CHK1, DAPK-1, DAPK-3, DRAK-1, and AMPK, as Ser20 kinases. Phosphorylation of a p53 transactivation domain fragment at Ser20 by these enzymes in vitro can be mediated in trans by a docking site peptide derived from the BOX-V domain of p53, which also harbors the ubiquitin signal for MDM2. Evaluation of these calcium calmodulin kinase superfamily members as candidate Ser20 kinases in vivo has shown that only CHK1 or DAPK-1 can stimulate p53 transactivation and induce Ser20 phosphorylation of p53. Using CHK1 as a prototypical in vivo Ser20 kinase, we demonstrate that (i) CHK1 protein depletion using small interfering RNA can attenuate p53 phosphorylation at Ser20, (ii) an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-BOX-V fusion peptide can attenuate Ser20 phosphorylation of p53 in vivo, (iii) the EGFP-BOX-V fusion peptide can selectively bind to CHK1 in vivo, and (iv) the Δp53 spliced variant lacking the BOX-V motif is refractory to Ser20 phosphorylation by CHK1. These data indicate that the BOX-V motif of p53 has evolved the capacity to bind to enzymes that mediate either p53 phosphorylation or ubiquitination, thus controlling the specific activity of p53 as a transcription factor.
Metacognition, i.e. critically reflecting on and monitoring one’s own reasoning, has been linked behaviorally to the emergence of delusions and is a focus of cognitive therapy in patients with schizophrenia. However, little is known about the neural processing underlying metacognitive function. To address this issue, we studied brain activity during a modified beads task which has been used to measure a “Jumping to Conclusions” (JTC) bias in schizophrenia patients.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify neural systems active in twenty-five healthy subjects when solving a modified version of the “beads task”, which requires a probabilistic decision after a variable amount of data has been requested by the participants. We assessed brain activation over the duration of a trial and at the time point of decision making.
Analysis of activation during the whole process of probabilistic reasoning showed an extended network including the prefronto-parietal executive functioning network as well as medial parieto-occipital regions. During the decision process alone, activity in midbrain and ventral striatum was detected, as well as in thalamus, medial occipital cortex and anterior insula.
Our data show that probabilistic reasoning shares neural substrates with executive functions. In addition, our finding that brain regions commonly associated with salience processing are active during probabilistic reasoning identifies a candidate mechanism that could underlie the behavioral link between dopamine-dependent aberrant salience and JTC in schizophrenia. Further studies with delusional schizophrenia patients will have to be performed to substantiate this link.
Convergent evidence supports regional dysfunction within a corticolimbic neural system that subserves emotional processing and regulation in adolescents and adults with bipolar disorder (BD), with abnormalities prominent within the amygdala and its major anterior paralimbic cortical connection sites including ventral anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal, insular and temporopolar cortices. Recent studies of adults with BD demonstrate abnormalities in the functional connectivity between the amygdala and anterior paralimbic regions suggesting an important role for the connections between these regions in the development of the disorder. This study tests the hypothesis that these functional connectivity abnormalities are present in adolescents with BD. Fifty-seven adolescents, twenty-one with BD and thirty-six healthy comparison (HC) adolescents, participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging while processing emotional face stimuli. The BD and HC groups were compared in the strength of functional connectivity from amygdala to the anterior paralimbic cortical regions, and explored in remaining brain regions. Functional connectivity was decreased in the BD group, compared to the HC group, during processing of emotional faces in ventral anterior cingulate (VACC), orbitofrontal, insular and temporopolar cortices (p<0.005). Orbitofrontal and VACC findings for the happy condition, and additionally right insula for the neutral condition, survived multiple comparison correction. Exploratory analyses did not reveal additional regions of group differences. This study provides evidence for decreased functional connectivity between the amygdala and anterior paralimbic cortices in adolescents with BD. This suggests that amygdala-anterior paralimbic connectivity abnormalities are early features of BD that emerge at least by adolescence in the disorder.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with a mood-congruent processing bias in the amygdala toward face stimuli portraying sad expressions that is evident even when such stimuli are presented below the level of conscious awareness. The extended functional anatomical network that maintains this response bias has not been established, however.
To identify neural network differences in the hemodynamic response to implicitly presented facial expressions between depressed and healthy control participants.
Unmedicated-depressed participants with MDD (n = 22) and healthy controls (HC; n = 25) underwent functional MRI as they viewed face stimuli showing sad, happy or neutral face expressions, presented using a backward masking design. The blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal was measured to identify regions where the hemodynamic response to the emotionally valenced stimuli differed between groups.
The MDD subjects showed greater BOLD responses than the controls to masked-sad versus masked-happy faces in the hippocampus, amygdala and anterior inferotemporal cortex. While viewing both masked-sad and masked-happy faces relative to masked-neutral faces, the depressed subjects showed greater hemodynamic responses than the controls in a network that included the medial and orbital prefrontal cortices and anterior temporal cortex.
Depressed and healthy participants showed distinct hemodynamic responses to masked-sad and masked-happy faces in neural circuits known to support the processing of emotionally valenced stimuli and to integrate the sensory and visceromotor aspects of emotional behavior. Altered function within these networks in MDD may establish and maintain illness-associated differences in the salience of sensory/social stimuli, such that attention is biased toward negative and away from positive stimuli.
People who have remitted from depression are at increased risk for relapse if they rate their relatives as being critical of them on a simple self-report measure of Perceived Criticism (PC). To explore neural mechanisms associated with this we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine how people with different levels of PC responded to hearing criticism from their own mothers. To maximize variability in affective reactivity, depressed, recovered depressed, and healthy control participants (n = 33) were classified as high or low in PC based on a median split. They were then exposed to personally-relevant critical and praising comments from their mothers. Perceived Criticism levels were unrelated to depression status and to negative mood change after hearing criticism. However, compared to low PC participants, those who scored high on PC showed differential activation in a network of regions associated with emotion reactivity and regulation, including increased amygdala activity and decreased reactions in prefrontal regulatory regions when they heard criticism. This was not the case for praise. Criticism may be a risk factor for relapse because it helps to “train” pathways characteristic of depressive information processing. The Perceived Criticism measure may help identify people who are more susceptible to this vulnerability.
Within functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the use of the traditional general linear model (GLM) based analysis methods is often restricted to strictly controlled research setups requiring a parametric activation model. Instead, Inter-Subject Correlation (ISC) method is based on voxel-wise correlation between the time series of the subjects, which makes it completely non-parametric and thus suitable for naturalistic stimulus paradigms such as movie watching. In this study, we compared an ISC based analysis results with those of a GLM based in five distinct controlled research setups. We used International Consortium for Brain Mapping functional reference battery (FRB) fMRI data available from the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging image data archive. The selected data included measurements from 37 right-handed subjects, who all had performed the same five tasks from FRB. The GLM was expected to locate activations accurately in FRB data and thus provide good grounds for investigating relationship between ISC and stimulus induced fMRI activation. The statistical maps of ISC and GLM were compared with two measures. The first measure was the Pearson's correlation between the non-thresholded ISC test-statistics and absolute values of the GLM Z-statistics. The average correlation value over five tasks was 0.74. The second was the Dice index between the activation regions of the methods. The average Dice value over the tasks and three threshold levels was 0.73. The results of this study indicated how the data driven ISC analysis found the same foci as the model-based GLM analysis. The agreement of the results is highly interesting, because ISC is applicable in situations where GLM is not suitable, for example, when analyzing data from a naturalistic stimuli experiment.
One of the core symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the instability in interpersonal relationships. This might be related to existent differences in mindreading between BPD patients and healthy individuals.
We examined the behavioural and neurophysiological (fMRI) responses of BPD patients and healthy controls (HC) during performance of the ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ test (RMET).
Mental state discrimination was significantly better and faster for affective eye gazes in BPD patients than in HC. At the neurophysiological level, this was manifested in a stronger activation of the amygdala and greater activity of the medial frontal gyrus, the left temporal pole and the middle temporal gyrus during affective eye gazes. In contrast, HC subjects showed a greater activation in the insula and the superior temporal gyri.
These findings indicate that BPD patients are highly vigilant to social stimuli, maybe because they resonate intuitively with mental states of others.
Emotionally expressive faces are processed by a distributed network of interacting sub-cortical and cortical brain regions. The components of this network have been identified and described in large part by the stimulus properties to which they are sensitive, but as face processing research matures interest has broadened to also probe dynamic interactions between these regions and top-down influences such as task demand and context. While some research has tested the robustness of affective face processing by restricting available attentional resources, it is not known whether face network processing can be augmented by increased motivation to attend to affective face stimuli. Short videos of people expressing emotions were presented to healthy participants during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Motivation to attend to the videos was manipulated by providing an incentive for improved recall performance. During the motivated condition, there was greater coherence among nodes of the face processing network, more widespread correlation between signal intensity and performance, and selective signal increases in a task-relevant subset of face processing regions, including the posterior superior temporal sulcus and right amygdala. In addition, an unexpected task-related laterality effect was seen in the amygdala. These findings provide strong evidence that motivation augmentsco-activity among nodes of the face processing network and the impact of neural activity on performance. These within-subject effects highlight the necessity to consider motivation when interpreting neural function in special populations, and to further explore the effect of task demands on face processing in healthy brains.
There are gender differences in global and domain-specific self-esteem and the incidence of some psychiatric disorders related to self-esteem, suggesting that there are gender differences in the neural basis underlying one's own self-esteem. We investigated gender differences in the brain activity while subjects (14 males and 12 females) performed an implicit self-esteem task, using fMRI. While ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was significantly activated in females, medial and dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) were activated in males in the incongruent condition (self = negative) compared with the congruent condition (self = positive). Additionally, scores on the explicit self-esteem test were negatively correlated with vmPFC activity in females and positively correlated with dmPFC activity in males. Furthermore, the functional relationships among the regions found by direct gender comparisons were discussed based on the somatic-marker model. These showed that, compared to males, females more firmly store even the incongruent associations as part of their schematic self-knowledge, and such associations automatically activate the neural networks for emotional response and control, in which vmPFC plays a central role. This may explain female cognitive/behavioral traits; females have more tendency to ruminate more often than males, which sometimes results in a prolonged negative affect.
The influence of bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus nucleus (NAcc) on the processing of reward in a gambling paradigm was investigated using H2[15O]-PET (positron emission tomography) in a 38-year-old man treated for severe alcohol addiction. Behavioral data analysis revealed a less risky, more careful choice behavior under active DBS compared to DBS switched off. PET showed win- and loss-related activations in the paracingulate cortex, temporal poles, precuneus and hippocampus under active DBS, brain areas that have been implicated in action monitoring and behavioral control. Except for the temporal pole these activations were not seen when DBS was deactivated. These findings suggest that DBS of the NAcc may act partially by improving behavioral control.
Suicidal behaviors are frequent in mood disorders patients but only a subset of them ever complete suicide. Understanding predisposing factors for suicidal behaviors in high risk populations is of major importance for the prevention and treatment of suicidal behaviors. The objective of this project was to investigate gene expression changes associated with suicide in brains of mood disorder patients by microarrays (Affymetrix HG-U133 Plus2.0) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC: 6 Non-suicides, 15 suicides), the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC: 6NS, 9S) and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc: 8NS, 13S). ANCOVA was used to control for age, gender, pH and RNA degradation, with P≤0.01 and fold change±1.25 as criteria for significance. Pathway analysis revealed serotonergic signaling alterations in the DLPFC and glucocorticoid signaling alterations in the ACC and NAcc. The gene with the lowest p-value in the DLPFC was the 5-HT2A gene, previously associated both with suicide and mood disorders. In the ACC 6 metallothionein genes were down-regulated in suicide (MT1E, MT1F, MT1G, MT1H, MT1X, MT2A) and three were down-regulated in the NAcc (MT1F, MT1G, MT1H). Differential expression of selected genes was confirmed by qPCR, we confirmed the 5-HT2A alterations and the global down-regulation of members of the metallothionein subfamilies MT 1 and 2 in suicide completers. MTs 1 and 2 are neuro-protective following stress and glucocorticoid stimulations, suggesting that in suicide victims neuroprotective response to stress and cortisol may be diminished. Our results thus suggest that suicide-specific expression changes in mood disorders involve both glucocorticoids regulated metallothioneins and serotonergic signaling in different regions of the brain.
The aim of this study was to examine whether exposure to human suffering is associated with negative changes in perceptions about personal health. We further examined the relation of possible health perception changes, to changes in five discrete emotions (i.e., fear, guilt, hostility/anger, and joviality), as a guide to understand the processes underlying health perception changes, provided that each emotion conveys information regarding triggering conditions.
An experimental group (N = 47) was exposed to images of human affliction, whereas a control group (N = 47) was exposed to relaxing images. Participants in the experimental group reported more health anxiety and health value, as well as lower health-related optimism and internal health locus of control, in comparison to participants exposed to relaxing images. They also reported more fear, guilt, hostility and sadness, as well as less joviality. Changes in each health perception were related to changes in particular emotions.
These findings imply that health perceptions are shaped in a constant dialogue with the representations about the broader world. Furthermore, it seems that the core of health perception changes lies in the acceptance that personal well-being is subject to several potential threats, as well as that people cannot fully control many of the factors the determine their own well-being.
Abnormalities of myelin integrity have been reported in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) using multi-parameter maps of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). However, it was still unknown to what degree these abnormalities might be affected by pharmacological treatment.
To investigate whether the abnormalities of white matter microstructure including myelin integrity exist in OCD and whether they are affected by medication.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Parameter maps of DTI, including fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD), were acquired from 27 unmedicated OCD patients (including 13 drug-naïve individuals) and 23 healthy controls. Voxel-based analysis was then performed to detect regions with significant group difference. We compared the DTI-derived parameters of 15 patients before and after 12-week Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) therapies. Significant differences of DTI-derived parameters were observed between OCD and healthy groups in multiple structures, mainly within the fronto-striato-thalamo-cortical loop. An increased RD in combination with no change in AD among OCD patients was found in the left medial superior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal lobe, occipital lobe, striatum, insula and right midbrain. There was no statistical difference in DTI-derived parameters between drug-naive and previously medicated OCD patients. After being medicated, OCD patients showed a reduction in RD of the left striatum and right midbrain, and in MD of the right midbrain.
Our preliminary findings suggest that abnormalities of white matter microstructure, particularly in terms of myelin integrity, are primari ly located within the fronto-striato-thalamo-cortical circuit of individuals with OCD. Some abnormalities may be partly reversed by SSRI treatment.
Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) is a rare, infrequently studied and highly secretive condition in which there is a mismatch between the mental body image and the physical body. Subjects suffering from BIID have an intense desire to amputate a major limb or severe the spinal cord in order to become paralyzed. Aim of the study is to broaden the knowledge of BIID amongst medical professionals, by describing all who deal with BIID.
Somatic, psychiatric and BIID characteristic data were collected from 54 BIID individuals using a detailed questionnaire. Subsequently, data of different subtypes of BIID (i.e. wish for amputation or paralyzation) were evaluated. Finally, disruption in work, social and family life due to BIID in subjects with and without amputation were compared.
Based on the subjects' reports we found that BIID has an onset in early childhood. The main rationale given for their desire for body modification is to feel complete or to feel satisfied inside. Somatic and severe psychiatric co-morbidity is unusual, but depressive symptoms and mood disorders can be present, possibly secondary to the enormous distress BIID puts upon a person. Amputation and paralyzation variant do not differ in any clinical variable. Surgery is found helpful in all subjects who underwent amputation and those subjects score significantly lower on a disability scale than BIID subjects without body modification.
The amputation variant and paralyzation variant of BIID are to be considered as one of the same condition. Amputation of the healthy body part appears to result in remission of BIID and an impressive improvement of quality of life. Knowledge of and respect for the desires of BIID individuals are the first steps in providing care and may decrease the huge burden they experience.