Basal Ganglia MR Relaxometry in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: T2 Depends Upon Age of Symptom Onset

Stephen Correia, Emily Hubbard, Jason Hassenstab, Agustin Yip, Josef Vymazal, Vit Herynek, Jay Giedd, Dennis L. Murphy, Benjamin D. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Dysfunction in circuits linking frontal cortex and basal ganglia (BG) is strongly implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). On MRI studies, neuropsychiatric disorders with known BG pathology have abnormally short T2 relaxation values (a putative biomarker of elevated iron) in this region. We asked if BG T2 values are abnormal in OCD. We measured volume and T2 and T1 relaxation rates in BG of 32 adults with OCD and 33 matched controls. There were no group differences in volume or T1 values in caudate, putamen, or globus pallidus (GP). The OCD group had lower T2 values (suggesting higher iron content) in the right GP, with a trend in the same direction for the left GP. This effect was driven by patients whose OCD symptoms began from around adolescence to early adulthood. The results suggest a possible relationship between age of OCD onset and iron deposition in the basal ganglia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Age of onset
  • Basal ganglia
  • Iron
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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