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Executive functions and insight in OCD: a comparative study.

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Andrade, António R 
do Rosário, Linete 
Sampaio, Daniel 
Figueira, Maria Luísa 


BACKGROUND: Around 25 to 30% of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do not respond to treatment. These patients have the longest duration of disease and the worst prognosis. Following years of research on this topic, insight has emerged as a potential explanation for this therapeutic resistance. Therefore, it has become important to characterize OCD patients with poor insight. Few studies have focused on the neuropsychological and cognitive characteristics of these patients. METHODS: To help fill this gap, we divided 57 patients into two groups, one with good insight and the other with poor insight, assessed their neuropsychological functions-through a Rey's figure test, a California verbal learning test, a Toulouse-Piéron test and a Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST)-and compared the results with those of a paired control group. RESULTS: The statistical analysis, with a significance level of 95%, revealed differences in the executive function tests, and particularly in the WCST (p ≤ 0.001) and trail-making-test (TMT A/B) (p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: These differences suggest that the neuropsychological profile of poor-insight patients is different from their good-insight counterparts, emphasize the role played by the executive functions in insight and highlights the need for more accurate neurocognitive research and treatment.



Executive functions, Insight, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Trail-making test, Verbal memory, Wisconsin card sorting Test, Executive Function, Humans, Neuropsychological Tests, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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BMC Psychiatry

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC