Childhood neuropsychological deficits associated with adult obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Existing neuropsychological studies of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are cross-sectional and do not provide evidence of whether deficits are trait-related (antecedent and independent of symptomatology) or state-related (a consequence, dependent on symptomatology).


To investigate whether there are premorbid neuropsychological deficits associated with adult OCD.


Longitudinal data were collected from participants of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Developmental study. Neuropsychological data collected at age 13 were linked with age 32 diagnosis of OCD.


The group who had OCD at age 32 differed significantly from the control group with no OCD on their performance at age 13 on neuropsychological tests of visuospatial, visuoconstructive and visuomotor skills, controlling for gender and socioeconomic status, but did not differ on tests of general IQ or verbal ability. Performance of the group with OCD on tests of executive functioning was mixed.


Individuals with OCD have premorbid impairment in visuospatial abilities and some forms of executive functioning, consistent with biological models of OCD.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Grisham, JR; Anderson, TM; Poulton, R; Moffitt, TE; Andrews, G

Published Date

  • August 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 195 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 138 - 141

PubMed ID

  • 19648544

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2801824

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1472-1465

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0007-1250

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.056812


  • eng