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Reduced basal ganglia volumes in trichotillomania measured via morphometric magnetic resonance imaging.

A morphometric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study compared volumes of brain structures in 10 female subjects with trichotillomania (repetitive hair-pulling) versus 10 normal controls matched for sex, age, handedness, and education. Three-dimensional MRI scans were blindly normalized and segmented using well-characterized semiautomated intensity and differential contour algorithms by signal intensity-frequency histograms. Consistent with one a priori hypothesis, left putamen volume was found to be significantly smaller in trichotillomania subjects as compared with normal matched controls. This is the first report of a structural brain abnormality in trichotillomania. Results are discussed in terms of putative relationships between trichotillomania, Tourette's syndrome, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Pubmed ID: 9193740


  • O'Sullivan RL
  • Rauch SL
  • Breiter HC
  • Grachev ID
  • Baer L
  • Kennedy DN
  • Keuthen NJ
  • Savage CR
  • Manzo PA
  • Caviness VS
  • Jenike MA


Biological psychiatry

Publication Data

July 1, 1997

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH01215
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: T32MH16259

Mesh Terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Basal Ganglia
  • Caudate Nucleus
  • Cohort Studies
  • Corpus Striatum
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Putamen
  • Reference Values
  • Trichotillomania