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Compensatory hyperactivations as markers of latent working memory dysfunctions in obsessive-compulsive disorder

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Henseler, I., Gruber, O., Kraft, S., Krick, C., Reith, W., & Falkai, P. (2008). Compensatory hyperactivations as markers of latent working memory dysfunctions in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 33(3), 209-215.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-8B4B-6
Abstract
Objective Behavioural studies have implicated working memory (WM) deficits in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). However, findings are inconsistent, which could be explained by compensation strategies used by a subgroup of OCD patients. To test this hypothesis, we examined patients without a behavioural deficit in WM during performance of different WM tasks using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Methods We scaned 11 patients and 11 matched control subjects while they performed 3 verbal and spatial item-recognition tasks. Results Patients and healthy subjects engaged the same set of brain regions. However, in direct comparison, the patients exhibited significantly greater task-related activation in several frontal and parietal brain areas known to underlie WM. Conclusion Patients without manifest WM deficits exhibit increased activation in frontal and parietal brain areas relative to healthy subjects during WM task performance. These hyperactivations may permit them to compensate for reduced efficiency of their WM systems and may thus serve as markers of latent WM dysfunctions.