ISSN 1225-8709 (Print)
ISSN 2005-7571 (Online)
Volume 24, Number 2 (2/2017)
Original Article <page. 75-81 >

Neurocognitive Dysfunction in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Association of Duration of Untreated Illness : A Preliminary Study

Sang Hoon Oh, MD1;Sung Nyun Kim, MD2;Jaewook Han, MD2;Junhee Lee, MD1;Tae Young Lee, MD1;Min-Sup Shin, PhD1,2; and Jun Soo Kwon, MD1,2;

1;Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, 2;Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Objectives : Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic and disabling psychiatric disorder. The duration of untreated illness (DUI) has been suggested as one of the predictors of clinical course and outcome in various psychiatric disorders. There is increasing evidence that cognitive dysfunction is associated with the prognosis of OCD. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of DUI on the neurocognitive functions in patients with OCD.

Methods : Sixty-two patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of OCD from the outpatient clinic were included in this study. We defined the short DUI if the DUI was 2-year or less and the long DUI if it was longer than 2-year. Neurocognitive functions were assessed by visuospatial memory function test and 4 subsets of K-WAIS such as vocabulary, arithmetic, block design and picture arrangement. Differences in neurocognitive functions as well as clinical variables between OCD patients with short DUI and those with long DUI were investigated. Correlation analyses were also performed to determine the correlation between DUI and neurocognitive functions.

Results : Compared with the short DUI group, the long DUI group performed worse in the block design test, which measures executive function. The long DUI group also had a higher level of compulsive symptom severity than the short DUI group. However, the DUI was not correlated with neurocognitive functions.

Conclusions : Findings in this preliminary study suggest that the long DUI in patients with OCD is associated with more severe executive dysfunction. Studies with larger samples and longitudinal design are needed to further confirm the prognostic role of the DUI in OCD.


Key words : Duration of untreated illness;Obsessive-compulsive disorder;Neurocognitive function.

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