Impairment of executive functions in patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder




Executive Function; Psychophysics; Stroop task; Anxiety disorders.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects individuals of all ages, causing physical and cognitive impairment, thus reducing their quality of life. The evaluation of the cognitive capacity of patients with GAD is an important tool when trying to understand the damages that this disorder brings to the individual. Therefore, the present study aimed to understand if there are losses or alterations in cognitive functions, mainly executive ones of these individuals. Twenty-one subjects, both men and women, underwent a 2-back test to assess working memory performance and a Stroop Task to assess inhibitory control, comprising a TAG Group (n = 11) and a Control Group (n = 10). The patients were selected from ambulatory care at a tertiary hospital in the Western São Paulo. The results showed important differences in the performance of patients with GAD, who exhibited equivalent reaction time (RT) performance in the 2-back test, but with a greater number of errors. At the Stroop task they are consistently slower than the Control Group, for the equivalent number of errors. Taken together, these data point to significant prejudice in GAD, even within a limited sample of subjects.

Author Biographies

Gabrieli Camossa Armagni, Federal University of São Paulo

Cell Immunology and Biochemistry of Fungi and Protozoa Lab (LICBfp)

Gabriel Fernandes Klaus, Regional Hospital of Mato Grosso do Sul

Department of internal medicine, Hospital Regional do Mato Grosso do Sul

Maria Beatriz Souza Cardoso, University of West Paulista

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western São Paulo - Unoeste

Samuel Augusto Ferreira Aurelio, University of West Paulista

Faculty of Medicine, University of Western São Paulo - Unoeste

Felipe Viegas Rodrigues, University of West Paulista

Felipe Viegas Rodrigues is a cognitive neuroscientist, professor of Physiology and Neuropsychology at University of Western São Paulo (Unoeste). His principal interests relate to the attention phenomena, especially the asymmetry of the attention orienting, and Psychophysics is the method of choice in the laboratory. He also investigates attentional changes linked to the development of specific skills (such as formal music training) and the impairments related to mental disorders. Additional research is concerned with Music Cognition, as Felipe is also a musician.


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How to Cite

ARMAGNI, G. C.; KLAUS, G. F.; CARDOSO, M. B. S.; AURELIO, S. A. F.; RODRIGUES, F. V. Impairment of executive functions in patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 11, n. 2, p. e9311225603, 2022. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v11i2.25603. Disponível em: Acesso em: 21 jun. 2024.



Health Sciences