Monday, November 25, 2013

Study Describes Factors That Differentiate OCD From OCPD

Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) share some characteristics and genetics, they are distinct disorders, a new study indicates. Both are impairing disorders marked by compulsive behaviors, but they can be differentiated by the presence of obsessions in OCD and by the capacity to delay reward in OCPD. The study's senior researcher was H. Blair Simpson, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. The results appear in Biological Psychiatry.

The findings come with clinical implications, Simpson told Psychiatric News. For example, there are no evidence-based treatments for individuals with OCPD. But given that the ability to delay reward has been linked by other researchers with a heightened activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal  cortex, "our findings suggest potential brain-behavior relationships in OCPD, providing support for future imaging studies and the development of novel pharmacologic and psychosocial strategies to modulate excessive self-control."

Information about OCD's description and classification in DSM-5 can be found in the American Psychiatric Publishing book Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders: Refining the Research Agenda for DSM-5.

Although individuals with OCPD are often impaired in psychosocial functioning and quality of life, they sometimes also achieve remarkable successes. A prime example is Noah Webster who was  driven by a need for order and who, for 30 years, worked at creating a dictionary of the English language. Read more about him in the Psychiatric News article "Biographer Explores Character, Pathology, and Achievement."

(Image: Jacqueline Moore/


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