Obsessive-compulsive symptoms among patients with blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm

Leonardo F. Fontenelle, Paula G. Pacheco, Paula M. Nascimento, Andrea R. de Freitas, Ana L. Rosso, Antônio L. Teixeira, Edward C. Lauterbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence and the severity of different obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms reported by patients with blepharospasm (BSP) with those reported by patients with hemifacial spasm (HFS). We hypothesized that, since patients with BSP present a dysfunctional striato-thalamo-cortical circuitry, they would exhibit higher prevalence and/or greater severity of OCD symptoms than patients with HFS, a condition that results from peripheral irritation of the facial nerve. Methods: Twenty-two patients with BSP and 31 patients with HFS were systematically evaluated by means of a sociodemographic and clinical questionnaire, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Diagnostic groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test for continuous variables and the Pearson's goodness-of-fit Χ 2 test for categorical ones; Fisher's Exact Test was employed when indicated. Correlations between continuous variables were evaluated by means of Spearman coefficients. Results: Patients with BSP and HFS were not significantly different in terms of sociodemographic characteristics and most neuropsychiatric features. Nevertheless, while checking was associated with shorter duration of BSP (Spearman's rho=-0.54; P=01), hoarding correlated with a longer duration of HFS (Spearman's rho=0.40; P=04). Length of abnormal movements did not correlate with the BDI, BAI and MMSE scores. Conclusions: The finding that the severity of different OCD symptoms did not differ between the BSP and HFS groups suggests that BSP may not interfere significantly with behavioral components of the striato-thalamo-cortical circuitry. However, the fact that OCD symptoms were found to follow different courses in distinct diagnostic groups deserves further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-481
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Blepharospasm
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Dystonia
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Obsessive-compulsive symptoms among patients with blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this