Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious and debilitating psychiatric disorder that affects 2.2 million Americans.1 Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often complain about poor memory and evidence suggests that individuals with OCD exhibit deficits on a variety of tasks, including tasks that are unrelated to obsessional concerns. As patients with OCD tend to focus on details and miss the larger context, the construct of source (contextual) memory may be particularly relevant to memory impairments in OCD. Memory for different types of information (object versus contextual information) may rely on various regions within the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobe, and may be differentially impacted by obsessive- compulsive symptoms. Using a novel task, 20 individuals with OCD and 20 healthy controls (age 18 to 50) will study objects in the context of four rooms. While undergoing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), participants will receive a memory test that will assess source and object recognition. This study will address two Aims: 1) examine whether individuals with OCD differ in their memory for multicontextual information 2) utilize neuro imaging to determine whether differences exist in neural correlates of memory between OCD patients and healthy controls. The proposed project will be the first study to investigate the relationship between object and contextual memory and functional activation patterns in patients with obsessive- compulsive disorder. This project addresses the NIMH goal of developing an integrative understanding of brain-behavior processes that provide the foundation for understanding mental disorders. The proposed study will further our understanding of neurocognitive functioning in obsessive-compulsive disorder and will provide a vehicle to advance the applicant's development toward becoming an independent investigator.
The proposed study will further our understanding of neurocognitive functioning in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Increased understanding of the pathophysiology of this debilitating disorder may also lead to the development of novel treatments.