Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Executive function in body dysmorphic disorder

  • J. Dunai (a1), I. Labuschagne (a2), D. J. Castle (a1) (a3) (a4), M. Kyrios (a5) and S. L. Rossell (a1) (a2) (a4)...
Abstract
Background

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a poorly understood disorder that involves a preoccupation with imagined or minor bodily defects. Only a few studies of neuropsychological function have been conducted. Two previous studies have indicated executive dysfunction in BDD. The current study sought to further define these executive deficits.

Method

Fourteen DSM-IV BDD patients and 14 age- and sex-matched control participants took part. Because of the high incidence of co-morbidity in BDD, patients with co-morbid Axis I disorders were not excluded. Control participants had no history of psychiatric illness. All participants completed the following executive function (EF) tests: Spatial Span (SS), Spatial Working Memory (SWM) and the Stockings of Cambridge (SOC) task. They also completed the Pattern Recognition (PR) test, a test of visual memory (VM).

Results

BDD participants made significantly more between-search errors on the SWM task, an effect that increased with task difficulty. Between-search errors are an example of poor maintenance and manipulation of information. SOC results indicated slower subsequent thinking times (i.e. the time taken to plan) in BDD participants. There were no group differences in SS or PR scores. The severity of BDD, depressive or anxiety symptoms was not correlated with performance on any of the cognitive tasks.

Conclusions

The results of this study indicate that BDD patients have EF deficits in on-line manipulation, planning and organization of information. By contrast, spatial memory capacity, motor speed and visual memory were intact. Considered with evidence from lesion and neuroimaging studies, these results suggest frontal lobe dysfunction in BDD.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: A/Professor S. L. Rossell, Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, MAP-RC, School of Psychology, Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, 1st Floor, Old Baker Building, The Alfred, Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC3004, Australia. (Email: SRossell@SRossell.com)
References
Hide All
APA (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn, text revision (DSM-IV-TR). American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DC.
Beck, AT, Epstein, N, Brown, G, Steer, RA (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 56, 893897.
Beck, AT, Ward, C, Mendelson, M (1961). Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Archives of General Psychiatry 4, 561571.
Brown, TA, DiNardo, PA, Barlow, DH (1994). The Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV. Greywind Publications Inc: New York.
Castle, DJ, Rossell, S (2006). An update on body dysmorphic disorder. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 19, 7478.
Castle, DJ, Rossell, S, Kyrios, M (2006). Body dysmorphic disorder. Psychiatric Clinics of North America 29, 521538.
Deckersbach, T, Otto, MW, Savage, CR, Baer, L, Jenike, MA (2000 a). The relationship between semantic organization and memory in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 69, 101107.
Deckersbach, T, Savage, CR, Phillips, KA, Wilhelm, S, Buhlmann, U, Rauch, SL, Baer, L, Jenike, MA (2000 b). Characteristics of memory dysfunction in body dysmorphic disorder. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 6, 673681.
First, MB, Spitzer, RL, Gibbon, M, Williams, JB (1996). Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders, Clinician Version (SCID-CV). American Psychiatric Press: Washington, DC.
Fray, P, Robbins, T, Sahakian, B (1996). Neuropsychiatric applications of CANTAB. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 11, 329336.
Goodman, WK, Price, LH, Rasmussen, SA, Mazure, C, Fleischmann, RL, Hill, CL, Heninger, GR, Charney, DS (1989). The Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. I. Development, use, and reliability. Archives of General Psychiatry 46, 10061011.
Hanes, KR (1998). Neuropsychological performance in body dysmorphic disorder. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 4, 167171.
Maruff, P, Purcell, R, Pantelis, C (2002). Obsessive-compulsive disorder. In Cognitive Deficits in Brain Disorders (ed. Harrison, J. E. and Owen, A. M.). Martin Dunitz: London.
Nelson, HE (1982). National Adult Reading Test (NART): Test Manual. NFER-Nelson: Windsor, UK.
Owen, A, Downes, J, Sahakian, B, Polkey, C, Robbins, T (1990). Planning and spatial working memory following frontal lobe lesions in man. Neuropsychologia 28, 10211034.
Pantelis, C, Barnes, T, Nelson, H, Tanner, S, Weatherley, L, Owen, A, Robbins, T (1997). Frontal-striatal cognitive deficits in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Brain 120, 18231843.
Phillips, KA (2000). Quality of life for patients with body dysmorphic disorder. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 188, 170175.
Phillips, KA, Atala, K, Pope, H (1995). Diagnostic instruments for body dysmorphic disorder. In New Research Program and Abstracts. American Psychiatric Association 148th Annual Meeting, Miami, FL.
Phillips, KA, Hollander, E, Rasmussen, SA, Aronowitz, BR, DeCaria, C, Goodman, WK (1997). A severity rating scale for body dysmorphic disorder: development, reliability and validity of a modified version of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. Psychopharmacology Bulletin 33, 1722.
Purcell, R, Maruff, P, Kyrios, M, Pantelis, C (1998). Cognitive deficits in obsessive-compulsive disorder on tests of frontal-striatal function. Biological Psychiatry 43, 348357.
Saxena, S, Feusner, J (2006). Toward a neurobiology of body dysmorphic disorder. Primary Psychiatry 13, 4148.
Veale, D, Sahakian, B, Owen, A, Marks, I (1996). Specific cognitive deficits in tests sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychological Medicine 26, 12611269.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed