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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 43 (2001) 2, 105 - 113

Review article

Functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies in obsessive compulsive disorders

M.M.A. Nielen, J.A. den Boer

background There is a growing interest for the role of brain functions in the pathogenesis of obsessive compulsive disorder (ocd).
aims Most studies are made up of functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological research in ocd. This article gives an overview of these studies.
method Review of the literature on functional neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies.
results ocd patients display increased metabolic activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and subcortical areas. It is not clear how these abnormalities can be accompanied by the specific cognitive impairments in spatial memory and rule learning.
conclusions It is suggested that the increased metabolic activity in orbitofrontal and subcortical areas reflects the presence of anxiety. This hypothesis could provide a better understanding of the relationship between brain activity and cognition in ocd.

keywords cognitive impairments, neuroimaging, obsessive compulsive disorder