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Brain anatomy and chemistry may predict treatment response in paediatric obsessive–compulsive disorder

David R. Rosenberg, Shauna N. MacMillan, Gregory J. Moore
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1461145701002401 179-190 First published online: 1 June 2001


Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severe, highly prevalent and often chronically disabling illness with frequent onset in childhood and adolescence. This underscores the importance of studying the illness during childhood near the onset of illness to minimize potential confounds of long-term illness duration and treatment intervention as well as to examine the developmental underpinnings of the illness. In this review, the authors focus on an integrated series of brain-imaging studies in paediatric OCD suggesting a reversible glutamatergically mediated thalamo-cortical–striatal dysfunction in OCD and their relevance for improved diagnosis and treatment of the condition. Developmental neurobiological models for OCD are presented and particular attention is devoted to evaluating neuroimaging studies designed to test these models and how they may help predict treatment response in paediatric OCD.

Key words
  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder
  • paediatric
  • child
  • neuroimaging
  • glutamate
  • thalamus
  • cortex
  • striatum