Poor performance on the Iowa Gambling Task in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Abstract

Background: Several lines of evidence implicate orbitofrontal cortex dysfunction in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The purpose of this study was to investigate neuropsychological dysfunction of the orbitofrontal cortex in children with OCD. Methods: The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), which reflects orbitofrontal cortex function, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), which is associated with functioning of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, were administered to 22 children with OCD and 22 healthy controls matched for gender, age, and intelligence. Results: OCD patients displayed poor performance on the IGT. In contrast, performance on the WCST was not impaired in OCD patients compared to controls. Conclusions: These findings are in line with previous studies demonstrating that OCD in childhood is associated with a dysfunction of orbitofrontal-striatal-thalamic circuitry.

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