IMR Press / JIN / Volume 21 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin2102045
Open Access Review
What scans see when patients see defects: neuroimaging findings in body dysmorphic disorder
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1 Second Department of Neurology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54621 Thessaloniki, Greece
2 Second Department of Psychiatry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 56430 Thessaloniki, Greece
3 Third Department of Psychiatry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54621 Thessaloniki, Greece
4 Department of Neurology, University of Thessaly, 41110 Larissa, Greece
*Correspondence:; (Christos Bakirtzis)
These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editors: Gülgün Şengül and Nelson Torro
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2022, 21(2), 45;
Submitted: 2 August 2021 | Revised: 24 August 2021 | Accepted: 14 September 2021 | Published: 18 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Imaging)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by an individual’s preoccupation with a perceived defect in their appearance which to others may be barely noticeable or even completely unnoticed. It confers significant disturbances of everyday functioning in affected persons. The present review study provides an overview of neuroimaging findings on BDD. Literature on three platforms, PubMed, Google Scholar and PsycArticles of APA PsycNet, was searched for studies on patients with BBD compared with healthy controls (HCs), with a focus on neuroimaging findings. Out of an initial yield of 414 articles, 23 fulfilled inclusion criteria and were reviewed. Among the most remarkable findings were functional abnormalities in visual processing, frontostriatal and limbic systems, reduced global efficiency of White Matter (WM) connectivity, reduced cortical thickness in temporal and parietal lobes, and correlations between these neuroimaging findings and clinical variables such as symptom severity and degree of insight. Structural, volumetric and functional neuroimaging findings in BDD affected persons may help shed light on the pathophysiology and neurobiological underpinnings of this condition. Future studies should further investigate the use of imaging findings as potential prognostic biomarkers of treatment efficacy and disease outcome.

Body dysmorphic disorder
White matter
Gray matter
Fig. 1.
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