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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Oct;201(10):877-84. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182a5eb13.

Obsessive-compulsive symptoms and characteristics in individuals with delayed sleep phase disorder.

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Binghamton University, New York.


Research has demonstrated a relationship between circadian disruption and severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Misalignment of sleep timing/endogenous biological rhythms with the 24-hour light/dark cycle may result in difficulty dismissing intrusive thoughts, thus increasing vulnerability to disorders characterized by intrusive thoughts, such as OCD. Deficits in inhibition of intrusive thoughts are posited to play a role in OCD. The current study investigated whether individuals with delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD) report elevated symptoms of OCD and have greater difficulty inhibiting intrusive thoughts than do individuals without DSPD. Community participants with and without DSPD completed questionnaires and performed behavioral tasks designed to elicit intrusive thoughts. The participants with DSPD (n = 27) had elevated OCD symptoms and greater rates of disorders characterized by intrusive thoughts on a structured interview, as compared with the participants without DSPD (n = 19). These results support a link between the timing of sleep and symptoms of OCD. Implications and future directions are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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