n African Journal of Psychiatry - Neurocognitive dysfunction in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder : original article




Although a dysfunctional prefrontal-striatal system is presupposed in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), this is not unequivocally supported by neuropsychological studies. This study aims to study the neurocognitive dysfunctions in OCD patients, compared to controls; to study the variations in neurocognitive deficits with the duration of illness, as well as, the severity of the disease. Thirty OCD patients were compared with thirty, age and education matched control subjects on computer based tests measuring executive functions, vigilance and spatial working memory. OCD patients performed poorly on all the neuro-cognitive parameters as compared to controls. The severity of illness had a positive correlation with poorer performance on CPT. There were no significant correlations between duration of illness and any parameters of cognition. The results suggest that OCD patients perform significantly worse on cognitive measures than controls. This is consistent with their poorer functional outcome. The results further indicate that on the basis of severity OCD patients are qualitatively distinguishable in neuropsychological terms, given their difference in the profiles of cognitive impairment.


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