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      Response to Cognitive impulsivity and the behavioral addiction model of obsessive–compulsive disorder: Abramovitch and McKay (2016)

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          In our recently published article, we investigated the behavioral addiction model of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), by assessing three core dimensions of addiction in patients with OCD healthy participants. Similar to the common findings in addiction, OCD patients demonstrated increased impulsivity, risky decision-making, and biased probabilistic reasoning compared to healthy controls. Thus, we concluded that these results support the conceptualization of OCD as a disorder of behavioral addiction. Here, we answer to Abramovitch and McKay (2016) commentary on our paper and we support our conclusions by explaining how cognitive impulsivity is also a typical feature of addiction and how our results on decision-making and probabilistic reasoning tasks reflect cognitive impulsivity facets that are consistently replicated in OCD and addiction.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Motor inhibition and cognitive flexibility in obsessive-compulsive disorder and trichotillomania.

          Problems with inhibiting certain pathological behaviors are integral to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trichotillomania, and other putative obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders. The authors assessed and compared motor inhibition and cognitive flexibility in OCD and trichotillomania for the first time, to their knowledge. The Stop-Signal Task and the Intradimensiona/Extradimensional Shift Task were administered to 20 patients with OCD, 17 patients with trichotillomania, and 20 healthy comparison subjects. Both OCD and trichotillomania showed impaired inhibition of motor responses. For trichotillomania, the deficit was worse than for OCD, and the degree of the deficit correlated significantly with symptom severity. Only patients with OCD showed deficits in cognitive flexibility. Impaired inhibition of motor responses (impulsivity) was found in OCD and trichotillomania, whereas cognitive inflexibility (thought to contribute to compulsivity) was limited to OCD. This assessment will advance the characterization and classification of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders and aid the development of novel treatments.
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            Presupplementary motor area hyperactivity during response inhibition: a candidate endophenotype of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

            Endophenotype studies of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may uncover heritable traits that are related to genetic susceptibility to OCD. Deficient response inhibition is a promising endophenotype of OCD, although its functional neural correlates have not been extensively studied. The authors sought to determine the functional neural correlates of response inhibition in a large sample of medication-free OCD patients and their unaffected siblings. Forty-one OCD patients, 17 of their siblings, and 37 matched healthy comparison subjects performed a stop-signal task during 3-T functional MRI. The stop-signal reaction time provided a behavioral measure of response inhibition. The neural correlates of response inhibition were assessed in a region-of-interest analysis that included the presupplementary motor area, inferior frontal gyrus, subthalamic nucleus, and inferior parietal cortex. Patients with OCD had greater stop-signal reaction times relative to healthy comparison subjects. The numerical stop-signal reaction time difference between siblings and comparison subjects failed to reach significance. Both patients with OCD and their siblings showed greater activity in the left presupplementary motor area during successful inhibition relative to comparison subjects. Relative to both the comparison subjects and the siblings, patients with OCD showed decreased activity in the right inferior parietal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus. In patients and siblings, presupplementary motor area activity correlated negatively with stop-signal reaction time. These findings suggest that presupplementary motor area hyperactivity is a neurocognitive endophenotype of OCD that is possibly related to inefficient neural processing within the presupplementary motor area itself. Patients with OCD further showed a state-dependent deficit in recruiting right inferior parietal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus, which may contribute to their inhibition deficit.
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              Impaired cognitive flexibility and motor inhibition in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

              Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is highly heritable. Attempts to delineate precise genetic contributions have met with limited success. There is an ongoing search for intermediate cognitive brain markers (endophenotypes) that may help clarify genetic contributions. The aim was to assess inhibitory control processes in unaffected first-degree relatives of OCD patients for the first time with objective tests. The Intradimensional/Extradimensional Shift, Stop-Signal, and Cambridge Gamble tasks were administered to 20 unaffected first-degree relatives, 20 OCD patient probands with washing/checking symptoms, and 20 healthy matched comparison subjects without a family history of OCD. Unaffected first-degree relatives and OCD patient probands showed cognitive inflexibility (extradimensional set shifting) and motor impulsivity (stop-signal reaction times). Decision making (Cambridge Gamble task) was intact. Deficits in cognitive flexibility and motor inhibition may represent cognitive endophenotypes for OCD. Such measures will play a key role in understanding genotype/phenotype associations for OCD and related spectrum conditions.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                27 September 2016
                September 2016
                : 5
                : 3
                : 398-400
                [ 1 ]Department of NEUROFARBA, University of Florence , Florence, Italy
                [ 2 ]Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam , Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [ 3 ]Department of Mental Health, University of L’Aquila , L’Aquila, Italy
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Giacomo Grassi; Department of NEUROFARBA, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini 6, 50139 Florence, Italy; Phone: +39 055 587889; E-mail: giacomograssimd@
                © 2016 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 20, Pages: 3
                Funding sources: None.


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