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Characteristics of memory dysfunction in body dysmorphic disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2000

THILO DECKERSBACH
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
CARY R. SAVAGE
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
KATHARINE A. PHILLIPS
Affiliation:
Butler Hospital and Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University School of Medicine
SABINE WILHELM
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
ULRIKE BUHLMANN
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
SCOTT L. RAUCH
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
LEE BAER
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
MICHAEL A. JENIKE
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Abstract

Although body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is receiving increasing empirical attention, very little is known about neuropsychological deficits in this disorder. The current study investigated the nature of memory dysfunction in BDD, including the relationship between encoding strategies and verbal and nonverbal memory performance. We evaluated 17 patients with BDD and 17 healthy controls using the Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT). BDD patients differed significantly from healthy controls on verbal and nonverbal learning and memory indices. Multiple regression analyses revealed that group differences in free recall were statistically mediated by deficits in organizational strategies in the BDD cohort. These findings are similar to patterns previously observed in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), suggesting a potential relationship between OCD and BDD. Studies in both groups have shown that verbal and nonverbal memory deficits are affected by impaired strategic processing. (JINS, 2000, 6, 673–681.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 The International Neuropsychological Society

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