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Psychiatry Res. 2011 Oct 30;189(3):413-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2011.06.022. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Neuropsychological functioning in hoarding disorder.

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The Institute of Living, Hartford, CT, USA.


Hoarding disorder (HD) is increasingly viewed as distinct from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In particular, some researchers have suggested that HD is characterized by substantial problems of neurocognitive function; however, HD patients have not yet been compared to OCD patients in this respect. The aim of the present study was to compare neuropsychological test performance in HD patients (n=27), OCD patients (n=12), and healthy controls (n=26). Consistent with previous research, HD patients showed an attenuated ability to sustain attention and poorer employment of adaptive memory strategies compared to healthy controls. HD and OCD patients did not differ significantly on these measures, although moderate effect sizes suggested that hoarders showed somewhat greater attenuation of attentional capacity. Rates of true impairment on any particular neuropsychological test were fairly low across all three groups, although 67% of HD patients (compared to 58% of OCD patients and 42% of healthy controls) scored in the impaired range on at least one measure (odds ratio=2.22). Results are discussed in terms of emerging conceptualizations of HD as a distinct illness.

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