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Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a debilitating disorder, characterized by obsessions and compulsions relating specifically to perceived appearance, and which has been newly classified within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders grouping. Until now, little research has been conducted into the cognitive profile of this disorder.
Participants with BDD (n=12) and participants without BDD (n=16) were tested using a computerized neurocognitive battery investigating attentional set-shifting (Intra/Extra Dimensional Set Shift Task), decision-making (Cambridge Gamble Task), motor response-inhibition (Stop-Signal Reaction Time Task), and affective processing (Affective Go-No Go Task). The groups were matched for age, IQ, and education.
In comparison to controls, patients with BDD showed significantly impaired attentional set-shifting, abnormal decision-making, impaired response inhibition, and greater omission and commission errors on the emotional processing task.
Despite the modest sample size, our results showed that individuals with BDD performed poorly compared to healthy controls on tests of cognitive flexibility, reward and motor impulsivity, and affective processing. Results from separate studies in OCD patients suggest similar cognitive dysfunction. Therefore, these findings are consistent with the reclassification of BDD alongside OCD. These data also hint at additional areas of decision-making abnormalities that might contribute specifically to the psychopathology of BDD.
Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is characterized by perfectionism, need for control, and cognitive rigidity. Currently, little neuropsychological data exist on this condition, though emerging evidence does suggest that disorders marked by compulsivity, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), are associated with impairment in cognitive flexibility and executive planning on neurocognitive tasks.
The current study investigated the neurocognitive profile in a nonclinical community-based sample of people fulfilling diagnostic criteria for OCPD in the absence of major psychiatric comorbidity.
Twenty-one nonclinical subjects who fulfilled Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria for OCPD were compared with 15 healthy controls on selected clinical and neurocognitive tasks. OCPD was measured using the Compulsive Personality Assessment Scale (CPAS). Participants completed tests from the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery including tests of set shifting (Intra-Extra Dimensional [IED] Set Shifting) executive planning (Stockings of Cambridge [SOC]), and decision making (Cambridge Gamble Task [CGT]).
The OCPD group made significantly more IED-ED shift errors and total shift errors, and also showed longer mean initial thinking time on the SOC at moderate levels of difficulty. No differences emerged on the CGT.
Nonclinical cases of OCPD showed significant cognitive inflexibility coupled with executive planning deficits, whereas decision-making remained intact. This profile of impairment overlaps with that of OCD and implies that common neuropsychological changes affect individuals with these disorders.
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