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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-82

Neurocognitive deficits in obsessive compulsive disorder: A state or trait phenomenon?

1 Department of Psychiatry, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, King George Medical College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Supriya Vaish
134, Ram Sadan, Baghpat Road, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.153715

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Background: Studies have shown that in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), there is impairment of neurocognitive functioning during the symptomatic phase. However, studies that explore the "state or trait" dependent nature of these neurocognitive deficits are largely lacking. By comparing the neuropsychological functions of the clinical and subclinical group of OCD patients and healthy controls; we tried to establish whether neuropsychological deficits in OCD were "state" dependent or independent. Materials and Methods: Twenty "mild to moderate" OCD patients, 15 subclinical (remitted) OCD patients, and 20 matched healthy controls were compared and assessed on computerized battery of neuropsychological tests including Wisconsin card sorting test, continuous performance test, and spatial working memory test. The observations were statistically analyzed. Results: Executive functions in both the subclinical and clinical groups performed poorly when compared to healthy controls. The patient groups made significantly more wrong responses, more missed responses and took more time to respond. On the test of spatial working memory, the mild to moderate OCD patients showed significant impairment, but not the subclinical patients group. Conclusion: Thus, we conclude that cognitive dysfunctions are core and enduring deficits of OCD, they seem to continue into the subclinical- well state. Certain cognitive deficits, depending on their presence or absence in subclinical cases, may be identified as "state" or "trait" markers of OCD.

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