Introduction: Research suggests that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is not a unitary entity, but rather a highly heterogeneous condition, with complex and variable clinical manifestations.
Objective: The aims of this study were to compare clinical and demographic characteristics of OCD patients with early and late age of onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS); and to compare the same features in early onset OCD with and without tics. The independent impact of age at onset and presence of tics on comorbidity patterns was investigated.
Methods: Three hundred and thirty consecutive outpatients meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for OCD were evaluated: 160 patients belonged to the “early onset” group (EOG): before 11 years of age, 75 patients had
Results: The EOG had a predominance of males, higher frequency of family history of OCS, higher mean scores on the “aggression/violence” and “miscellaneous” dimensions, and higher mean global DY-BOCS scores. Patients with EOG without tic disorders presented higher mean global DY-BOCS scores and higher mean scores in the “contamination/cleaning” dimension.
Conclusion: The current results disentangle some of the clinical overlap between early onset OCD with and without tics.