Antipsychotic-induced obsessive compulsive symptoms assessed

By Mark Cowen, Senior medwireNews Reporter

Results from a Korean study show that the symptom structure of second-generation-antipsychotic (SGA)-induced obsessive compulsive symptoms is similar to that seen in patients with "pure" obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

The researchers found that five factors (forbidden thoughts, hoarding, cleaning, symmetry, and counting) accounted for 70.7% of the total variance in schizophrenia patients with SGA-induced OC symptoms.

The findings, published in Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, suggest a "common biological mechanism" underlying SGA-induced OC symptoms and OCD, say Kyung Sue Hong (Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul) and colleagues.

The team used the Korean version of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) to evaluate symptom structures in 51 schizophrenia patients with SGA-induced OC symptoms.

Principal component analysis of 13 symptom categories from the Y-BOCS showed that the forbidden thoughts factor (aggression, sexual, religious, and somatic obsessions and checking compulsions) accounted for the largest individual variance, at 19.4%.

The hoarding factor (hoarding obsessions and compulsions) explained 15.8% of the variance, the cleaning factor (contamination obsessions and cleaning compulsions) accounted for 14.2%, the symmetry factor (symmetry obsessions and repeating and ordering compulsions) explained 12.6%, and the counting factor (counting compulsion) accounted for 8.8% of the variance.

The researchers note that there was modest correlation between the cleaning factor score and the overall severity of OC symptoms.

Gender and SGA type did not influence factor scores, they note.

Hong and team conclude: "The present study suggests that SGA-associated OC symptoms of discrete nature can be identified in clinically stable patients with schizophrenia and that their symptom frequencies and dimensions are remarkably comparable to those of the traditional neurotic OCD patients."

They add: "Considering that previous studies on OCD suggested different genetic and clinical characteristics among different symptom dimensions, further studies on detailed clinical and biological correlates of symptom dimensions are also warranted for SGA-induced OC phenomenon."

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  1. Janet Singer Janet Singer United States says:

    This article is very interesting and helps explain why my son's OCD and overall condition worsened on these drugs. Maybe this report will make psychiatrists stop and think before prescribing these meds to those with OCD.

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