Posted on June 26, 2018

Researchers at the University of Cambridge say their findings have already been used to assist adolescents with OCD obtain the help they needed at school to realize their potential — including helping one go on to university. Almost 90 percent of adolescent patients with OCD have problems at school, home, or socially, according to researchers, who note that difficulties doing homework and concentrating at school are the two most common problems.

For the study, researchers had 36 adolescents with OCD and 36 healthy young people complete learning and memory tasks. The computerized tests included recognition memory — remembering which of two objects they had seen before, and episodic memory — where in space they remember seeing an object. A subset of 30 participants in each group also carried out a task designed to assess the balance of goal-directed and habitual behavioral control.

The researchers found that adolescent patients with OCD had impairments in all learning and memory tasks. The study also demonstrated impaired goal-directed control and lack of cognitive plasticity early in the development of OCD, the researchers report. Experiencing learning and memory problems at school could affect self-esteem, the researchers said. They added that some symptoms seen in people with OCD, such as compulsive checking, may result from them having reduced confidence in their memory ability. The stress of having difficulty in learning may also start a negative influence and promote inflexible habit learning.

Researchers hope that future studies will examine in more detail the nature of these impairments and how they might affect clinical symptoms and school performance.

Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Obsessions & Compulsions (OCD)

Source material from PsychCentral