Although preliminary neuroimaging research suggests that patients with hoarding disorder (HD) show widespread abnormal task-related activity in the brain, there has been no research on alterations in the white matter tracts in these patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of the major white matter tracts in patients with HD. Tract-based spatial statistics were used to search for white matter tract abnormalities throughout the brain in 25 patients with HD and 36 healthy controls. Post hoc analysis of regions of interest was performed to detect correlations with clinical features. Compared with the controls, patients with HD showed decreased fractional anisotropy and increased radial diffusivity in anatomically widespread white matter tracts. Post hoc analysis of regions of interest revealed a significant negative correlation between the severity of hoarding symptoms and fractional anisotropy in the left anterior limb of the internal capsule and a positive correlation between the severity of these symptoms and radial diffusivity in the right anterior thalamic radiation. Patients with HD showed a broad range of alterations in the frontal white matter tracts, including the frontothalamic circuit, frontoparietal network, and frontolimbic pathway. The findings of this study indicate associations between frontal white matter abnormalities related to the severity of hoarding symptoms in HD and the cortical regions involved in cognitive dysfunction. The insights provided would be useful for understanding the neurobiological basis of HD.
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