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In the present study, we aimed to perform a systematic review evaluating the cognitive performance of patients with hoarding disorder (HD) compared with controls. We hypothesized that HD patients would present greater cognitive impairment than controls.
A systematic search of the literature using the electronic databases MEDLINE, SCOPUS, and LILACS was conducted on May 2020, with no date limit. The search terms were “hoarding disorder,” “cognition,” “neuropsychology,” “cognitive impairment,” and “cognitive deficit.” We included original studies assessing cognitive functioning in patients with HD.
We retrieved 197 studies initially. Of those, 22 studies were included in the present study. We evaluated 1757 patients who were 41 to 72 years old. All selected studies comprised case–control studies and presented fair quality. Contrary to our hypothesis, HD patients showed impairment only in categorization skills in comparison with controls, particularly at confidence to complete categorization tasks. Regarding attention, episodic memory, working memory, information-processing speed, planning, decision-making, inhibitory control, mental flexibility, language, and visuospatial ability, HD patients did not show impairment when compared with controls. There is a paucity of studies on social cognition in HD patients, although they may show deficits. The impact of emotion in cognition is also understudied in HD patients.
Except for categorization skills, the cognitive performance in HD patients does not seem to be impaired when compared with that in controls. Further work is needed to explore social cognition and the impact of emotion in cognitive performance in HD patients.
Cognitive tests of inhibitory control show variable results for the differential diagnosis between behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We compared the diagnostic accuracies of tests of inhibitory control and of a behavioural questionnaire, to distinguish bvFTD from AD.
Three groups of participants were enrolled: 27 bvFTD patients, 25 AD patients, and 24 healthy controls. Groups were matched for gender, education, and socio-economic level. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of inhibitory control, including Hayling Test, Stroop, the Five Digits Test (FDT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT). Caregivers completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11th version (BIS-11).
bvFTD and AD groups showed no difference in the tasks of inhibitory control, while the caregiver questionnaire revealed that bvFTD patients were significantly more impulsive (BIS-11: bvFTD 76.1+9.5, AD 62.9+13, p < .001).
Neuropsychological tests of inhibitory control failed to distinguish bvFTD from AD. On the contrary, impulsivity caregiver-completed questionnaire provided good distinction between bvFTD and AD. These results highlight the current limits of cognitive measures of inhibitory control for the differential diagnosis between bvFTD and AD, whereas questionnaire information appears more reliable and in line with clinical diagnostics.
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