Meta-analytic investigations of common and distinct grey matter alterations in youths and adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disabling illness with onset generally in childhood. OCD-youths differ from OCD-adults with regard to gender distribution, comorbidity patterns and treatment options. However, little is known about the neural correlate differences underpin those two populations. The current meta-analysis summarizes voxel based morphometry findings to elucidate whether differences of neural correlates exist between these two populations. Both OCD-youths and OCD-adults demonstrated greater striatal volume and smaller prefrontal grey matter volume (GMV). However, smaller GMV in left visual cortex was observed in OCD-youths only, while smaller GMV in anterior cingulate gyrus and greater GMV in cerebellum were demonstrated only in OCD-adults. Meta-regression showed greater GMV in left putamen was most prominent in samples with higher percentages of medicated OCD-adults. Our findings confirmed the most consistent GMV alterations in OCD were in prefrontal-striatal circuitry. Besides, other regions may involve at different developmental stages including deficits of visual cortex in OCD-youths and abnormalities of limbic-cerebellar circuit in OCD-adults. Medication effect may be more pronounced in the striatum, especially the putamen.

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