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Pathological gambling (PG) is a severe and persistent pattern of problem gambling that has been aligned with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, no study has compared the neurocognitive profiles of individuals with PG and OCD.
We compared neurocognitive functioning, including executive function, verbal learning and memory, and visual–spatial organization and memory among 16 pathological gamblers, 31 drug-naïve OCD subjects, and 52 healthy controls.
The only neurocognitive marker common to both groups was increased fragmentation errors on the Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF). The PG subjects showed increased nonperseverative error on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and organization difficulties in the ROCF, whereas the OCD subjects revealed longer response times on the Stroop test and retention difficulties on the immediate recall scale of the ROCF.
A more careful approach is required in considering whether PG is a part of the OCD spectrum, as little evidence of neurocognitive overlap between PG and OCD has been reported.
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