The structure of the corpus callosum in obsessive compulsive disorder

M. Di Paola, E. Luders, I. A. Rubino, A. Siracusano, G. Manfredi, P. Girardi, G. Martinotti, P. M. Thompson, Y. Y. Chou, A. W. Toga, C. Caltagirone, G. Spalletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abnormal brain connectivity has recently been reported in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, structural differences in the corpus callosum (CC), the primary structure connecting the two hemispheres, have not been extensively studied. In this case-control study, we recruited 30 patients with OCD and 30 healthy control subjects carefully matched for age, sex and handedness. Combining surface-based mesh-modeling and voxel-based morphometry (VBM), we compared callosal thickness and white matter (WM) density in patients and controls. We investigated associations between callosal structure and cortical gray matter (GM) density, and we related CC measures to neuropsychological performance in OCD. OCD patients showed small anterior and posterior callosal regions compared to healthy control subjects. In the OCD group, anterior callosal thickness was positively correlated with GM density of the right mid-dorso-lateral prefrontal (BA 9/46) area, while posterior callosal thickness was positively correlated with GM density in the left supramarginal gyrus (BA 40). Moreover, posterior callosal WM density was positively correlated with verbal memory, visuo-spatial memory, verbal fluency, and visuo-spatial reasoning performances. Callosal attributes were related to GM density in cortical areas innervated by the CC, and were also related to performance in cognitive domains impaired in the disorder. The CC may therefore be integrally involved in OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Corpus callosum
  • Cortical gray matter
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Region of interest
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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