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White matter volume alterations in hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania)

Uhlmann, A, Dias, A, Taljaard, L, Stein, D, Brooks, SJ and Lochner, C (2019) White matter volume alterations in hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania). Brain and Behavior. ISSN 2162-3279

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Open Access URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11682-0... (Published version)


Trichotillomania (TTM) is a disorder characterized by repetitive hair-pulling resulting in hair loss. Key processes affected in TTM comprise affective, cognitive, and motor functions. Emerging evidence suggests that brain matter aberrations in fronto-striatal and fronto-limbic brain networks and the cerebellum may characterize the pathophysiology of TTM. The aim of the present voxel-based morphometry (VBM) study was to evaluate whole brain grey and white matter volume alteration in TTM and its correlation with hair-pulling severity. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (3 T) data were acquired from 29 TTM patients and 28 age-matched healthy controls (CTRLs). All TTM participants completed the Massachusetts General Hospital Hair-Pulling Scale (MGH-HPS) to assess illness/pulling severity. Using whole-brain VBM, between-group differences in regional brain volumes were measured. Additionally, within the TTM group, the relationship between MGH-HPS scores, illness duration and brain volumes were examined. All data were corrected for multiple comparisons using family-wise error (FWE) correction at p < 0.05. Patients with TTM showed larger white matter volumes in the parahippocampal gyrus and cerebellum compared to CTRLs. Estimated white matter volumes showed no significant association with illness duration or MGH-HPS total scores. No significant between-group differences were found for grey matter volumes. Our observations suggest regional alterations in cortico-limbic and cerebellar white matter in patients with TTM, which may underlie deficits in cognitive and affective processing. Such volumetric white matter changes may precipitate impaired cortico-cerebellar communication leading to a reduced ability to control hair pulling behavior.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1109 Neurosciences, 1702 Cognitive Sciences, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Psychology (new Sep 2019)
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 10:27
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 08:16
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s11682-019-00170-z
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11905

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