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Characteristics of memory dysfunction in body dysmorphic disorder

T Deckersbach, C R Savage, K A Phillips, S Wilhelm, U Buhlmann, S L Rauch, L Baer, M A Jenike
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS 2000, 6 (6): 673-81
Although body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is receiving increasing empirical attention, very little is known about neuropsychological deficits in this disorder. The current study investigated the nature of memory dysfunction in BDD, including the relationship between encoding strategies and verbal and nonverbal memory performance. We evaluated 17 patients with BDD and 17 healthy controls using the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (RCFT) and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT). BDD patients differed significantly from healthy controls on verbal and nonverbal learning and memory indices. Multiple regression analyses revealed that group differences in free recall were statistically mediated by deficits in organizational strategies in the BDD cohort. These findings are similar to patterns previously observed in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), suggesting a potential relationship between OCD and BDD. Studies in both groups have shown that verbal and nonverbal memory deficits are affected by impaired strategic processing.

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