Obsessive-compulsive disorder after traumatic brain injury

Int Rev Psychiatry. 2003 Nov;15(4):350-8. doi: 10.1080/09540260310001606737.


Traumatic brain injury ( TBI) neuropsychiatric sequelae are a significant cause of morbidity in TBI victims. Among the recognized sequelae are anxiety, obsessions, compulsions and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This review addresses the emergence of OCD and OCD symptoms after TBI with an emphasis on neural circuits that underlie OCD symptom expression that may be affected by the injury. Current studies suggest that post-TBI emergent psychopathology, including OCD, is influenced by underlying sub-clinical diathesis, brain injury lesions sites, environmental stressors and the rehabilitation process. Pre-morbid status can be obtained by structured psychiatric interviews, and TBI brain lesions can be defined with advanced neuroimaging techniques. This information along with the management of family and environmental stressors and the enhanced clinical identification of symptoms of anxiety and OCD can be used in the rehabilitation process to improve prognosis after TBI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / etiology*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / physiopathology*