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Neurocognitive impairments robustly predict functional outcome. However, heterogeneity in neurocognition is common within diagnostic groups, and data-driven analyses reveal homogeneous neurocognitive subgroups cutting across diagnostic boundaries.
To determine whether data-driven neurocognitive subgroups of young people with emerging mental disorders are associated with 3-year functional course.
Model-based cluster analysis was applied to neurocognitive test scores across nine domains from 629 young people accessing mental health clinics. Cluster groups were compared on demographic, clinical and substance-use measures. Mixed-effects models explored associations between cluster-group membership and socio-occupational functioning (using the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale) over 3 years, adjusted for gender, premorbid IQ, level of education, depressive, positive, negative and manic symptoms, and diagnosis of a primary psychotic disorder.
Cluster analysis of neurocognitive test scores derived three subgroups described as ‘normal range’ (n = 243, 38.6%), ‘intermediate impairment’ (n = 252, 40.1%), and ‘global impairment’ (n = 134, 21.3%). The major mental disorder categories (depressive, anxiety, bipolar, psychotic and other) were represented in each neurocognitive subgroup. The global impairment subgroup had lower functioning for 3 years of follow-up; however, neither the global impairment (B = 0.26, 95% CI −0.67 to 1.20; P = 0.581) or intermediate impairment (B = 0.46, 95% CI −0.26 to 1.19; P = 0.211) subgroups differed from the normal range subgroup in their rate of change in functioning over time.
Neurocognitive impairment may follow a continuum of severity across the major syndrome-based mental disorders, with data-driven neurocognitive subgroups predictive of functional course. Of note, the global impairment subgroup had longstanding functional impairment despite continuing engagement with clinical services.
To (1) confirm whether the Habit, Reward, and Fear Scale is able to generate a 3-factor solution in a population of obsessive-compulsive disorder and alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients; (2) compare these clinical groups in their habit, reward, and fear motivations; and (3) investigate whether homogenous subgroups can be identified to resolve heterogeneity within and across disorders based on the motivations driving ritualistic and drinking behaviors.
One hundred and thirty-four obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 76) or AUD (n = 58) patients were assessed with a battery of scales including the Habit, Reward, and Fear Scale, the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale, the Alcohol Dependence Scale, the Behavioral Inhibition/Activation System Scale, and the Urgency, (lack of
) Premeditation, (lack of
) Perseverance, Sensation Seeking, and Positive Urgency Impulsive Behavior Scale.
A 3-factor solution reflecting habit, reward, and fear subscores explained 56.6% of the total variance of the Habit, Reward, and Fear Scale. Although the habit and fear subscores were significantly higher in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the reward subscores were significantly greater in AUD patients, a cluster analysis identified that the 3 clusters were each characterized by differing proportions of OCD and AUD patients.
While affective (reward- and fear-driven) and nonaffective (habitual) motivations for repetitive behaviors seem dissociable from each other, it is possible to identify subgroups in a transdiagnostic manner based on motivations that do not match perfectly motivations that usually described in OCD and AUD patients.
Compulsivity can be seen across various mental health conditions and refers to a tendency toward repetitive habitual acts that are persistent and functionally impairing. Compulsivity involves dysfunctional reward-related circuitry and is thought to be significantly heritable. Despite this, its measurement from a transdiagnostic perspective has received only scant research attention. Here we examine both the psychometric properties of a recently developed compulsivity scale, as well as its relationship with compulsive symptoms, familial risk, and reward-related attentional capture.
Two-hundred and sixty individuals participated in the study (mean age = 36.0 [SD = 10.8] years; 60.0% male) and completed the Cambridge-Chicago Compulsivity Trait Scale (CHI-T), along with measures of psychiatric symptoms and family history thereof. Participants also completed a task designed to measure reward-related attentional capture (n = 177).
CHI-T total scores had a normal distribution and acceptable Cronbach’s alpha (0.84). CHI-T total scores correlated significantly and positively (all p < 0.05, Bonferroni corrected) with Problematic Usage of the Internet, disordered gambling, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, alcohol misuse, and disordered eating. The scale was correlated significantly with history of addiction and obsessive-compulsive related disorders in first-degree relatives of participants and greater reward-related attentional capture.
These findings suggest that the CHI-T is suitable for use in online studies and constitutes a transdiagnostic marker for a range of compulsive symptoms, their familial loading, and related cognitive markers. Future work should more extensively investigate the scale in normative and clinical cohorts, and the role of value-modulated attentional capture across compulsive disorders.
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