Cognitive event-related potentials differentiate schizophrenia with obsessive-compulsive disorder (schizo-OCD) from OCD and schizophrenia without OC symptoms

Stefano Pallanti, Giovanni Castellini, Samuel R. Chamberlain, Leonardo Quercioli, Gaetano Zaccara, Naomi A. Fineberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clinical and neurobiological evidence suggests that concurrent presentation of schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive (schizo-OCD) symptoms represents a distinct clinical entity. Given that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia have been modeled as having different neurofunctional profiles, the overlap between them represents a heuristic challenge for cognitive and endophenotype research. Event-related potentials (ERPs) may be used to probe neurophysiological correlates of the cognitive, emotional and behavioral disturbances found in neuropsychiatric entities such as schizo-OCD. Here we measure ERPs during a discriminative response task (DRT) in patients presenting with the DSM-IV criteria for both schizophrenia and OCD. We also performed these measurements in patients with OCD without psychotic features, as well as in patients with schizophrenia without OC symptoms. Schizo-OCD patients showed a distinct ERP pattern, with abnormally increased target activation (akin to OCD patients, but unlike the pattern observed in schizophrenic patients) and reduced P300 amplitudes (akin to schizophrenic patients, but unlike OCD patients). Similar to the control subjects, schizo-OCD patients showed larger amplitudes in the non-target condition than in the target condition. These results suggest that schizo-OCD may not only be a distinct clinical entity from pure OCD and schizophrenia, but it may also be characterized by a distinguishable neurophysiologic pattern. Neurobiological underpinnings deserve further considerations and might drive to a definition of a distinctive endophenotype for schizo-OCD in the de-construction of the schizophrenia endophenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume170
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Endophenotype
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • P300
  • Schizo-OCD
  • Schizophrenia

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