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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


MULLER, Juliana de Lima; TORQUATO, Kamilla Irigaray; MANFRO, Gisele Gus  and  TRENTINI, Clarissa Marceli. Executive functions as a potential neurocognitive endophenotype in anxiety disorders: A systematic review considering DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria classification. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2015, vol.9, n.3, pp.285-294. ISSN 1980-5764.

Evidence in the literature indicates that neurocognitive impairments may represent endophenotypes in psychiatric disorders.


This study aimed to conduct a systematic review on executive functions as a potential neurocognitive endophenotype in anxiety disorder diagnosis according to the DSM-IV and DSM-5 classifications.


A literature search of the LILACS, Cochrane Library, Index Psi Periódicos Técnico-Científicos, PubMed and PsycInfo databases was conducted, with no time limits. Of the 259 studies found, 14 were included in this review.


Only studies on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were found. The executive function components of decision-making, planning, response inhibition, behavioral reversal/alternation, reversal learning and set-shifting/cognitive flexibility were considered to be a neurocognitive endophenotypes in OCD.


Further studies on executive functions as a neurocognitive endophenotype in other anxiety disorders are needed since these may have different neurocognitive endophenotypes and require other prevention and treatment approaches.

Keywords : endophenotypes; executive function; anxiety disorders; neuropsychology.

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