Relations Between Executive Functions and Different Symptomatic Dimensions in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder1 1 Paper deriving from the primary author’s master’s dissertion under the second and fourth author’s advice, defended in 2012 in the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre.

Relações Entre Funções Executivas e Diferentes Dimensões Sintomatológicas no Transtorno Obsessivo-Compulsivo

Las Relaciones Entre las Funciones Ejecutivas y Diferentes Dimensiones Sintomáticas en Trastorno Obsesivo-Compulsivo

Ana Cristina Pedron Ygor Arzeno Ferrão Léia Gonçalves Gurgel Caroline Tozzi Reppold About the authors

There is no consensus in the literature as to neuropsychological functioning, the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) and the definitions of the OCS dimensions. We conducted a cross-sectional study investigating the relationship between executive function and OCS severity in the various dimensions, according to the Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale criteria. We evaluated 28 patients with OCS, using eight neuropsychological instruments to evaluate executive function. We found that OCS severity in the contamination/cleaning dimension correlates negatively with executive function, inhibitory control and attentional control. Severity in the hoarding dimension correlated positively with cognitive flexibility, visual processing and logical reasoning, whereas it correlated negatively with the capacity to develop efficient complex problem-solving strategies. There was also a positive correlation between severity in the symmetry/ordering dimension and attentional control. Our findings suggest that the profile of executive function in OCD is defined by the severity of the various OCS dimensions.

neuropsychology; neuropsychological tests; obsessive-compulsive disorder


Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia Av.Bandeirantes 3900 - Monte Alegre, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 16) 3315-3829 - Ribeirão Preto - SP - Brazil
E-mail: paideia@usp.br