Article : Attention, Verbal Learning And Memory Deficits In Somatization Disorder: A Pilot Study

Title

Attention, Verbal Learning And Memory Deficits In Somatization Disorder: A Pilot Study

Author

Ansha Patel, Korsi Dorene Kharshiing

Recent Neuropsychological conceptualization and research evidences suggest deficiencies in information processing, receptive and expressive functions in Somatization Disorder and its plausible association with significant socio-occupational impairment.  However, there exists a dearth of literature in exploration of cognitive complains reported by patients with Somatization Disorders. The objective: The present research aimed to carry out a preliminary investigation that assesses, and examines the basic lower cognitive abilities like attention, verbal learning and memory deficits in patients diagnosed with Somatization Disorder versus a group of normal subjects. Method: The study was carried out on 15 male patients diagnosed with Somatization Disorder as per ICD-10 CDDG, aged 20-30 years, in comparison to 15, gender, age, socio economic status, education and background matched normal subjects. The subjects were assessed on tests from The Nimhans Battery (Rao, Subbakrishna, Gopukumar, 2004), The Color Trails Test (D'Elia, Satz, Uchiyama, White, 1996) , The Digit Vigilance Test (Lezak, 1995) , The Triads Test (Nimhans version,2004), The Auditory Verbal Learning Test  (Maj et al.,1994)and The Passages Test (Mukundan, Reddy, Hegde, Jayanthi, Kaliaperumai, 1987). Results: Significant cognitive deficits were found in the Somatization patient group in comparison to control on subdomains of Sustained Attention, Divided Attention, and on all subdomains of auditory verbal list learning and memory. No significant deficits were found on the subdomains of focused Attention and Logical Memory. Conclusion: Evidences of this pilot study suggests that Somatization Disorder is associated with Attention, Verbal Learning and Memory deficits that needs to be investigated elaborately in consideration of function impairments faced by such patients in their day to day lives.                                                                                        .

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