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Oppositional defiant disorder: current insight

Authors Ghosh A, Ray A, Basu A

Received 20 June 2017

Accepted for publication 29 September 2017

Published 29 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 353—367


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Abhishek Ghosh,1 Anirban Ray,2 Aniruddha Basu1

1Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, 2Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, India

Abstract: Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is diagnosed broadly on the basis of frequent and persistent angry or irritable mood, argumentativeness/defiance, and vindictiveness. Since its inception in the third Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, epidemiological and longitudinal studies have strongly suggested a distinct existence of ODD that is different from other closely related externalizing disorders, with different course and outcome and possibly discrete subtypes. However, several issues, such as symptom threshold, dimensional versus categorical conceptualization, and sex-specific symptoms, are yet to be addressed. Although ODD was found to be highly heritable, no genetic polymorphism has been identified with confidence. There has been a definite genetic overlap with other externalizing disorders. Studies have begun to explore its epigenetics and gene–environment interaction. Neuroimaging findings converge to implicate various parts of the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and insula. Alteration in cortisol levels has also been demonstrated consistently. Although a range of environmental factors, both familial and extrafamilial, have been studied in the past, current research has combined these with other biological parameters. Psychosocial treatment continues to be time-tested and effective. These include parental management training, school-based training, functional family therapy/brief strategic family therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy. Management of severe aggression and treatment of co-morbid disorders are indications for pharmacotherapy. In line with previous conceptualization of chronic irritability as a bipolar spectrum abnormality, most studies have explored antipsychotics and mood stabilizers in the management of aggression, with limited effects.

Keywords: externalizing disorders, nosology, genetics

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