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Krause, Daniela, Folkerts, Malte, Karch, Susanne, Keeser, Daniel, Chrobok, Agnieszka I., Zaudig, Michael, Hegerl, Ulrich, Juckel, Georg and Pogarell, Oliver (2016): Prediction of Treatment Outcome in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Low-Resolution Brain Electromagnetic Tomography: A Prospective EEG Study. In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 6, 1993 [PDF, 3MB]

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The issue of predicting treatment response and identifying, in advance, which patient will profit from treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) seems to be an elusive goal. This prospective study investigated brain electric activity [using Low-Resolution Brain Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA)] for the purpose of predicting response to treatment. Forty-one unmedicated patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of OCD were included. A resting 32-channel EEG was obtained from each participant before and after 10 weeks of standardized treatment with sertraline and behavioral therapy. LORETA was used to localize the sources of brain electrical activity. At week 10, patients were divided into responders and non-responders (according to a reduction of symptom severity > 50% on the Y-BOCS). LORETA analysis revealed that at baseline responders showed compared to non-responders a significantly lower brain electric activity within the beta 1 (t = 2.86, p < 0.05), 2 (t = 2.81, p < 0.05), and 3 (t = 2.76, p < 0.05) frequency bands and ROI analysis confirmed a reduced activity in alpha 2 (t = 2.06, p < 0.05) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). When baseline LORETA data were compared to follow-up data, the analysis showed in the responder group a significantly lower brain electrical resting activity in the beta 1 (t = 3.17. p < 0.05) and beta 3 (t = 3.11. p < 0.05) frequency bands and equally for the ROI analysis of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the alpha 2 (t = 2.15. p < 0.05) frequency band. In the group of non responders the opposite results were found. In addition, a positive correlation between frequency alpha 2 (rho = 0.40, p = 0.010), beta 3 (rho = 0.42, p = 0.006), delta (rho = 0.33, p = 0.038), theta (rho = 0.34, p = 0.031), alpha 1 (rho = 0.38, p = 0.015), and betal (rho = 0.34, p = 0.028) of the OFC and the bands delta (rho = 0.33, p = 0.035), alpha 1 (rho = 0.36, p = 0.019), alpha 2 (rho = 0.34, p = 0.031), and beta 3 (rho = 0.38, p = 0.015) of the ACC with a reduction of the Y-BOGS scores was identified. Our results suggest that measuring brain activity with LORETA could be an efficient and applicable technique to prospectively identify treatment responders in OCD.

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