Can Neuroimaging Provide Reliable Biomarkers for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? A Narrative Review

Ilana Frydman, Juliana B. de Salles Andrade, Paula Vigne, Leonardo F. Fontenelle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In this integrative review, we discuss findings supporting the use neuroimaging biomarkers in the diagnosis and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To do so, we have selected the most recent studies that attempted to identify the underlying pathogenic process associated with OCD and whether they provide useful information to predict clinical features, natural history or treatment responses. Studies using functional magnetic resonance (fMRI), voxel-based morphometry (VBM), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) in OCD patients are generally supportive of an expanded version of the earlier cortico-striatal-thalamus-cortical (CSTC) model of OCD. Although it is still unclear whether this information will be incorporated into the daily clinical practice (due to current conceptual approaches to mental illness), statistical techniques, such as pattern recognition methods, appear promising in identifying OCD patients and predicting their outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Biomarkers
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Functional magnetic resonance
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Voxel-based morphometry

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