Skip to main content

Effect of illness duration on cognitive function of OCD: a neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging study

Background

Concerning inconsistency among previous reports that examined cognitive function of OCD, we should consider the heterogeneity of OCD such as symptom-based clusters, degree of insight, age of onset and comorbid diagnoses. In the present study, we examined duration effect on cognitive function of OCD by neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging methods.

Materials and methods

Thirty-two OCD patients whose diagnoses were confirmed by SCID-IIIR participated in the study. We administered them neuropsychological tests including WAIS-R, Stroop test, WCST, WMS-R and R-OCFT. We also examined them using functional MRI (fMRI) during the Chinese character version Stroop task that is strongly related with attention. Then the patients were divided into two groups by duration of illness; short-term illness group (Group S, n = 17, 5.5 ± 3.1 years) and long-term illness group (Group L, n = 15, 20.3 ± 6.1 years). There was no significant group difference in background and clinical characteristics but for the mean age of onset (Group S; 25.5 ± 10.2 y.o., Group L; 15.3 ± 7.1 y.o.).

Results

Group L showed significant attention deficit in the Stroop test and the WMS-R compared with Group S, though any other neuropsychological dysfunction such as intellectual level, executive function, verbal memory, and nonverbal memory was found in this group. In fMRI, both the two groups showed similar activation pattern. Group L, however, showed stronger activation than Group S in the ACC, the right thalamus, the middle temporal gyrus and the cerebellum.

Discussion

It was suggested that long-term persistence of OCD caused regional brain dysfunction of ACC and disability of attention.

References

  1. Nakao T, Nakagawa A, Yoshiura T, et al: Brain activation of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder during neuropsychological and symptom provocation tasks before and after symptom improvement: a functional MRI study. Biol Psychiatry. 2005, 57: 901-910. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.12.039.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Savage CR: Neuropsychology of obsessive-compulsive disorder: research findings and treatment implications. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: Practical Management. Edited by: Jenike MA, Baer L, Minichiello WE. 1998, St. Louis: Mosby, 254-275. 3

    Google Scholar 

  3. Nakao T, Nakagawa A, Yoshiura T: Action-monitoring function of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A functional MRI study comparing patients with OCD with Normal Controls during Chinese character Stroop task?. Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nakao, T., Nakagawa, A., Nakatani, E. et al. Effect of illness duration on cognitive function of OCD: a neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging study. Ann Gen Psychiatry 5, S138 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-859X-5-S1-S138

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-859X-5-S1-S138

Keywords

  • Cognitive Function
  • Chinese Character
  • Stroop Task
  • Functional Neuroimaging
  • Middle Temporal Gyrus