The extent of functional abnormalities in frontal-subcortical circuits in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is still unclear. Although neuroimaging studies, in general, and resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rs-fMRI), in particular, have provided relevant information regarding such alterations, rs-fMRI studies have been typically limited to the analysis of between-region functional connectivity alterations at low-frequency signal fluctuations (i.e., <0.08 Hz). Conversely, the local attributes of Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) signal across different frequency bands have been seldom studied, although they may provide valuable information. Here, we evaluated local alterations in low-frequency fluctuations across different oscillation bands in OCD. Sixty-five OCD patients and 50 healthy controls underwent an rs-fMRI assessment. Alterations in the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) were evaluated, voxel-wise, across four different bands (from 0.01 Hz to 0.25 Hz). OCD patients showed decreased fALFF values in medial orbitofrontal regions and increased fALFF values in the dorsal-medial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) at frequency bands <0.08 Hz. This pattern was reversed at higher frequencies, where increased fALFF values also appeared in medial temporal lobe structures and medial thalamus. Clinical variables (i.e., symptom-specific severities) were associated with fALFF values across the different frequency bands. Our findings provide novel evidence about the nature and regional distribution of functional alterations in OCD, which should contribute to refine neurobiological models of the disorder. We suggest that the evaluation of the local attributes of BOLD signal across different frequency bands may be a sensitive approach to further characterize brain functional alterations in psychiatric disorders.
Brain Imaging and Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 22, 2016
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