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Neuropsychology. 2006 Jul;20(4):409-19.

Decision making and set shifting impairments are associated with distinct symptom dimensions in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Section of Neuroscience and Emotion, Division of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, England.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is clinically heterogeneous. The authors examined how specific OCD symptom dimensions were related to neuropsychological functions using multiple regression analyses. A total of 39 OCD patients and 40 controls completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; A. Bechara, A. R. Damasio, H. Damasio, & S. W. Anderson, 1994), which is a test of decision making, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (R. K. Heaton, 1981), which is a test of set shifting. OCD patients and controls showed comparable decision making. However, patients with prominent hoarding symptoms showed impaired decision making on the IGT as well as reduced skin conductance responses. OCD patients had poorer set shifting abilities than controls, and symmetry/ordering symptoms were negatively associated with set shifting. These results help explain previous inconsistent findings in neuropsychological research in OCD and support recent neuroimaging data showing dissociable neural mechanisms involved in mediating the different OCD symptom dimensions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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