Neuroimaging and Cognitive-Biobehavioral Self-Treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Practical and Philosophical Considerations

  • Jeffrey M. Schwartz
  • Karron M. Martin
  • Lewis R. Baxter
Conference paper
Part of the Die Reihe dupbar med communication wird / Series dupbar med communication book series (dmc)


We postulated that activity in the caudate nucleus plays a key role in the brain system that mediates the symptomatic expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If this is so, successful treatment of OCD by any method might be accompanied by changes in caudate function. To test this, we studied regional brain glucose metabolic rates in OCD patients before and after 10 weeks of treatment with either fluoxetine or a specific behavior therapy, cognitive-biobehavioral self-treatment.

There were nine closely matched subjects in each group. For each treatment, responders (Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale — Y-BOCS) showed a significant (p < 0.01) decrease in normalized right caudate metabolic rates. Non-responders did not show this change; responders and non-responders differed significantly (p < 0.05). Of 24 brain structures, only the right caudate metabolic rate changed significantly with behavior therapy; the right anterior cingulate gyms metabolic rate also decreased (p = 0.03) with drug therapy.

Differences were found between drug and behaviour therapy as to which brain structures correlated with clinical changes on the Y-BOCS. Behavior therapy subjects showed a significant correlation (p = 0.03) between their change on the Y-BOCS and left anterior cingulate gyrus metabolic rate change after treatment (tau = −0.62). Drug therapy subjects showed a correlation (p < 0.05) between change on the Y-BOCS and right caudate metabolic rate change.

OCD responds to both drug therapy and behavioral therapy. PET studies before and after each treatment may be a powerful tool to dissect the neuroanatomy of symptom mediation and treatment response. These data also provide support for a theory of mind-brain interaction.

Neuroimaging und kognitiv, biobehaviorale Selbstbehandlung bei der Zwangsstörung: praktische und philosophische Betrachtungen


Wir haben postuliert, daß die Aktivität im N. caudatus eine Schlüsselrolle in dem Gehirnsystem spielt, das die Symptomatik von Zwangsstörungen (OCD) auslöst. Wenn das so ist, dann müßte die erfolgreiche Behandlung von OCD unabhängig von der jeweiligen Methode durch Veränderungen der Funktion des N. caudatus begleitet werden. Um das zu prüfen, haben wir die Menge der regionalen Gehirngluko-semetaboliten bei OCD-Patienten vor und 10 Wochen nach der Behandlung mit Fluoxetin oder einer spezifischen Verhaltenstherapie, der kognitiv-verhaltenstherapeutischen Selbstbehandlung gemessen.

In jeder Gruppe waren 9 sehr weitgehend übereinstimmende Patienten; bei jeder Behandlung zeigten die Responder (Y-BOCS) eine signifikante (p < 0,01) Abnahme der normalisierten Menge der Metaboliten im rechten N. caudatus. Non-Responder zeigten diese Veränderung nicht; Responder und Non-Responder unterschieden sich signifikant (p < 0,05). In 24 Gehirnstrukturen veränderte sich die Menge der Metaboliten im rechten N. caudatus nur durch Verhaltenstherapie signifikant; die Metabolitenmenge im rechten vorderen Gyrus cinguli sank auch bei Arzneimitteltherapie (p = 0,03).

Unterschiede zwischen Arzneimittel- und Verhaltenstherapie wurden auch im Hinblick darauf gesehen, welche Veränderungen von Gehirnstrukturen mit klinischen Veränderungen auf der Y-BOCS korrelierten. Patienten, die mit Verhaltenstherapie behandelt wurden, zeigten eine signifikante Korrelation (p = 0,03) zwischen den Veränderungen auf der Y-BOCS und der Metabolitenrate im linken vorderen Gyrus cinguli (tau = −0,62). Patienten, die mit Arzneimitteltherapie behandelt wurden, zeigten eine Korrelation (p < 0,05) zwischen Veränderungen auf der Y-BOCS und der Metabolitenrate im rechten N. caudatus.

Die Zwangsstörung reagiert sowohl auf Arzneimittel als auch auf Verhaltenstherapie. PET-Untersuchungen vor und nach jeder Behandlung können ein wirksames Instrument sein, um die Neuroanatomie der Symptomauslösung und der Behandlungserfolge aufzuklären. Diese Daten können auch dazu beitragen, eine Theorie zu Interaktionen von Geist und Gehirn aufzustellen.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey M. Schwartz
  • Karron M. Martin
  • Lewis R. Baxter

There are no affiliations available

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