Document Detail

Kinematical analysis of emotionally induced facial expressions in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14672254     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND; Motor function is deficient in many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), especially in the face. To investigate subtle motor dysfunction, kinematical analysis of emotional facial expressions can be used. Our aim was to investigate facial movements in response to humorous film stimuli in OCD patients. METHOD: Kinematical analysis of facial movements was performed. Ultrasound markers at defined points of the face provided exact measurement of facial movements, while subjects watched a humorous movie ('Mr Bean'). Thirty-four OCD patients (19 male, 15 female; mean (S.D.) age: 35.8 (11.5) years; mean (S.D.) total Y-BOCS score: 25.5 (5.9)) were studied in unmedicated state and after a 10-week treatment with the SSRI sertraline. Thirty-four healthy controls (19 male, 15 female; mean (S.D.) age: 37.5 (13.1) years) were also investigated. RESULTS: At baseline, OCD patients showed significantly slower velocity at the beginning of laughing than healthy controls and a reduced laughing frequency. There was a significant negative correlation between laughing frequency and severity of OCD symptoms. Ten weeks later a significant increase of laughing frequency and initial velocity during laughing was found. CONCLUSIONS: Execution of adequate facial reactions to humour is abnormally slow in OCD patients. Susceptibility of OCD patients with regard to emotional stimuli is less pronounced than in healthy subjects. This phenomenon is closely correlated to OCD symptoms and is state-dependent.
R Mergl; M Vogel; P Mavrogiorgou; C Göbel; M Zaudig; U Hegerl; G Juckel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Conference; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological medicine     Volume:  33     ISSN:  0033-2917     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Med     Publication Date:  2003 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-12-15     Completed Date:  2004-04-01     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1254142     Medline TA:  Psychol Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1453-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Laboratory of Clinical Neurophysiology, München, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Drug Administration Schedule
Emotions* / drug effects,  physiology
Facial Expression*
Facial Muscles / physiology
Laughter / physiology
Middle Aged
Motion Pictures as Topic
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis,  drug therapy,  physiopathology*,  psychology
Reaction Time / drug effects,  physiology
Reference Values
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
Sertraline / therapeutic use
Wit and Humor as Topic
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors; 79617-96-2/Sertraline

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