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Orbitofrontal cortex, emotional decision-making and response to cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-307
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume231
Issue number3
DOIs
Published30 Mar 2015

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Abstract

Grey matter volume (GMV) in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) may relate to better response to cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) because of the region׳s role in emotional decision-making and cognitive flexibility. This study aimed to determine the relation between pre-therapy OFC GMV or asymmetry, emotional decision-making and CBTp responsiveness. Emotional decision-making was measured by the Iowa Gambling task (IGT). Thirty patients received CBTp+standard care (CBTp+SC; 25 completers) for 6-8 months. All patients (before receiving CBTp) and 25 healthy participants underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Patients׳ symptoms were assessed before and after therapy. Pre-therapy OFC GMV was measured using a region-of-interest approach, and IGT performance was measured as overall learning, attention to reward, memory for past outcomes and choice consistency. Both these measures, were comparable between patient and healthy groups. In the CBTp+SC group, greater OFC GMV correlated with positive symptom improvement, specifically hallucinations and persecution. Greater rightward OFC asymmetry correlated with improvement in several negative and general psychopathology symptoms. Greater left OFC GMV was associated with lower IGT attention to reward. The findings suggest that greater OFC volume and rightward asymmetry, which maintain the OFC׳s function in emotional decision-making and cognitive flexibility, are beneficial for CBTp responsiveness.

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