Personality measures after gamma ventral capsulotomy in intractable OCD

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Abstract

Background:

Neurosurgeries such as gamma ventral capsulotomy (GVC) are an option for otherwise intractable obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients. In general, clinical and neuropsychological status both improve after GVC. However, its consequences on personality traits are not well-studied. The objective of this study was to investigate personality changes after one year of GVC in intractable OCD patients.

Methods:

The personality assessment was conducted using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) and Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) in 14 intractable OCD patients before and one year after GVC. Comparisons of personality features between treatment responders (n = 5) and non-responders (n = 9) were performed. Multiple linear regression was also used for predicting changes in clinical and global functioning variables.

Results:

Overall, no deleterious effect was found in personality after GVC. Responders had a reduction in neuroticism (p = 0.043) and an increase in extraversion (p = 0.043). No significant changes were observed in non-responders. Increases in novelty seeking and self-directedness, and decreases in persistence and cooperativiness predicted OCD symptom improvement. Similary, improvement in functioning was also predicted by hgher novelty seeking and self-directedness after GVC, whereas better functioning was also associated with lower reward dependence and cooperativeness after surgery.

Conclusions:

The pattern of changes in personality traits after GVC was generally towards that observed in nonclinical population, and does not raise safety concerns.

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