Damage to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is associated with repetitive compulsive behaviors in patients with penetrating brain injury

Rachel Fremont*, Jordan Dworkin, Masood Manoochehri, Frank Krueger, Edward Huey, Jordan Grafman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Damage to cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuits is associated with the development of repetitive behaviours in animals and humans. However, the types of repetitive behaviours that are developed after injury to these structures are poorly defined. This study examines the effect of damage to separate elements of CSTC circuits sustained by veterans of the Vietnam War on obsessions, compulsions, and tics. Methods We performed partial correlations (correcting for cognition, age, education, and global brain damage) between volume loss from traumatic brain injury in specific elements of CSTC circuits (lateral and medial orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, anterior cingulate cortex, thalamus, and basal ganglia) and scores on a modified version of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale Symptom Checklist and the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale in 83 Vietnam war veterans with penetrating brain injuries at different sites throughout the brain. Results We found that volume loss in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was associated with the development of compulsive behaviours (r=0.32, padj<0.05) whereas volume loss in the basal ganglia was associated with the development of tics (r=0.33, padj<0.05). Conclusion Our findings indicate that damage to specific CSTC elements can be associated with the development of compulsive behaviours and tics that are not necessarily accompanied by obsessions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000229
JournalBMJ Neurology Open
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 19 2022

Keywords

  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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