Neurochemical analyses in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003 Nov;42(11):1279-85. doi: 10.1097/


Objective: To investigate neurochemical changes in the caudate nucleus of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients before and after cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and to examine corresponding changes in symptom severity.

Method: Single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic (1H-MRS) examination of the left caudate was conducted in 21 treatment-naïve children, aged 6 to 16 years, before and after 12 weeks of CBT. Subjects were measured at baseline and posttreatment by the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale for Children, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale.

Results: No significant changes in caudate neurochemistry were observed in OCD patients before and after CBT despite unambiguous improvement in OCD symptoms, depression, and anxiety.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that reduction in caudate Glx may be specific to SSRI treatment and not due to a more generalized treatment response or spontaneous improvement of symptoms. Differential sets of pathophysiologic and treatment response markers may moderate/mediate the effects of particular treatments on outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Protons*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Protons