Selective cognitive deficits in obsessive-compulsive disorder compared to panic disorder with agoraphobia

Maura Boldrini, L. Del Pace, G. P A Placidi, J. Keilp, S. P. Ellis, S. Signori, G. F. Placidi, S. F. Cappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Visual-spatial and executive functions deficits have been reported in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We investigated their specificity comparing cognitive function in OCD, panic disorder with agoraphobia (PD/A) and controls by a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Method: Fifty-five subjects (25 OCD, 15 PD/A, 15 controls) without current depressive episode underwent structured clinical interview for DSM-IV, Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Neuropsychological battery assessed: executive functions, visual discrimination, spatial memory and learning, verbal memory, general intellectual functioning. Results: OCD showed controlled fluency, visual-spatial construction, learning and memory deficits; PD/A spatial learning impairment. OCD was discriminated from PD/A and controls by three tests scores, predicting group membership for 76.4% of the cases. Conclusion: Visual-constructive and controlled fluency deficits seem specific in OCD, while the spatial learning deficit, shared with PD patients, may not be disorder-specific, but anxiety-related. Results support the proposed ventral frontal-striatal circuit involvement in OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • Basal ganglia
  • Neuropsychological test
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Temporal lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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