Links for Keyword: OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our mailing list, to receive news updates. Learn more.


Links 21 - 40 of 58

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have identified a previously unknown gene variant that doubles an individual’s risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The new functional variant, or allele, is a component of the serotonin transporter gene (SERT), site of action for the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that are today’s mainstay medications for OCD, other anxiety disorders, and depression. “Improved knowledge of SERT‘s role in OCD raises the possibility of improved screening, treatment, and medications development for that disorder,” said Ting-Kai Li, M.D., Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “It also provides an important clue to the neurobiologic basis of OCD and the compulsive behaviors often seen in other psychiatric diseases, including alcohol dependence.” Approximately 2 percent of U.S. adults (3.3 million people) have OCD, the fourth most prevalent mental health disorder in the United States. Individuals with OCD have intrusive, disturbing thoughts or images (obsessions) and perform rituals (compulsions) to prevent or banish those thoughts. Many other individuals demonstrate obsessive-compulsive behaviors that do not meet OCD diagnostic criteria but alter the individuals’ lives.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 8731 - Posted: 06.24.2010

by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee We could have found the apartment just by following the powerful musty odor that hit us as we stepped out of the elevator. When we got to the door, my guide knocked. No answer. She knocked again, then a third time. Finally, a small voice inside said, “Who’s there?” “It’s Susan, the social worker. We’re here with the cleaning crew. They’re here to clean out your apartment.” “Daniel’s not here,” the voice behind the door told us. “He went to get us breakfast.” “That’s OK. He doesn’t have to be here.” She opened the door a crack, and the door frame moved, almost imperceptibly. Yet it didn’t really move. The world seemed to shift, and I felt off balance for a moment. The door opened a bit wider, and then I saw them: cockroaches, thousands of them, scurrying along the top of the door to get out of the way. The door opened the rest of the way. The apartment was dark, and it took a moment to appreciate what was inside. No floor was visible, only a layer of dirty papers, food wrappers, and urine-stained rags. A rottweiler bolted out of the back to see what was going on. He jumped over a pile of dirty clothes—at least they looked like clothes. From the edge of the door, the massive pile of junk rose precipitously to the ceiling, like a giant sea wave. It could have been part of a landfill: papers, boxes, shopping carts, paper bags, dirty clothing, lamps—anything that could be easily collected from the street or fished out of a Dumpster. It was one solid wall of trash 20 feet deep, all the way to the back of the apartment. There must have been windows on the far wall, but they were darkened by the broken fans, boxes, and clothing covering them. Inside the condo the sweet, pungent odor of insects and rotting food enveloped us. Susan had instructed me to wear old clothes that I could throw out afterward. I was grateful for the advice but wished I’d also had a face mask—the heavy-duty kind.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 13920 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By MARK DERR Scientists have linked a gene to compulsive behavior — in dogs. Researchers studied Doberman pinschers that curled up into balls, sucking their flanks for hours at a time, and found that the afflicted dogs shared a gene. They describe their findings — the first such gene identified in dogs — in a short report this month in Molecular Psychiatry. Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the animal behavior clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, in North Grafton, Mass., and the lead author of the report, said the findings had broad implications for compulsive disorders in people and animals. Estimates have obsessive-compulsive disorder afflicting anywhere from 2.5 percent to 8 percent of the human population. It shows up in behavior like excessive hand washing, repetitive checking of stoves, locks and lights, and damaging actions like pulling one’s hair out by the roots and self-mutilation. The disorder has been used in popular movies and television shows to define characters like the reclusive writer Melvin Udall, played by Jack Nicholson, in “As Good as It Gets” and Adrian Monk, played by Tony Shaloub, in the television series “Monk.” Similar disorders are known in dogs, particularly in certain breeds, including Dobermans. Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 13688 - Posted: 06.24.2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For years, no one on Crest Drive paid much attention to the little white house with pink trim. The front yard was overgrown with shrubs and three cars sat motionless in the driveway. Neighbors on the quiet street knew the owner, a retired psychologist named Carina DeOcampo, was an odd, private person — even her family would leave bags of food on the front steps, then quickly drive away. But folks here were shocked in early October when police forced their way into the home and discovered the 72-year-old DeOcampo dead, surrounded by six feet of garbage that packed the house. DeOcampo was a hoarder. “She had trails throughout the house, from her chair to the kitchen to her bedroom,” said neighbor David Collins, who peered in the front door after DeOcampo’s body was removed. “It was unbelievable.” This year, compulsive hoarders are in the spotlight. Books, movies and TV’s “Hoarders” — a popular A&E reality show that begins its second season Nov. 30 — have all brought the disorder out of its shame-filled past. Some hoarding experts worry that the media sensationalizes the problem while making solutions seem tidier than they really are. But they concede any attention may entice people who suffer from the disorder to obtain help. © 2009 The Associated Press.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 13522 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By JEFF BELL FOR some of us the trouble starts before we even step into a restaurant. Some might find themselves separating the salt and pepper shakers or worrying whether the cutlery is clean enough. If Carole Johnson, a retired school administrator who lives near Sacramento, Calif., happens to have a distressing thought while passing through a doorway, she needs to “clear” the thought by passing through the door twice more, doing it precisely three times. My own challenge is fighting the urge to return to my parked car and check yet again that the parking brake is secure. If I don’t, how can I be sure my car won’t roll into something — or worse, someone? Ms. Johnson and I are but two of the estimated five to seven million Americans battling obsessive-compulsive disorder, an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive distressing thoughts and repetitive rituals aimed at dislodging those thoughts. We are an eclectic bunch spanning every imaginable cross-section of society, and we battle an equally eclectic mix of obsessions and compulsions. Some of us obsess about contamination, others about hurting people, and still others about symmetry. Almost all of us can find something to obsess about at a restaurant. Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 11286 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Using genetic engineering, researchers have created an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) — like set of behaviors in mice and reversed them with antidepressants and genetic targeting of a key brain circuit. The study, by National Institutes of Health (NIH) — funded researchers, suggests new strategies for treating the disorder. Researchers bred mice without a specific gene, and found defects in a brain circuit previously implicated in OCD. Much like people with a form of OCD, the mice engaged in compulsive grooming, which led to bald patches with open sores on their heads. They also exhibited anxiety-like behaviors. When the missing gene was reinserted into the circuit, both the behaviors and the defects were largely prevented. The gene, SAPAP3, makes a protein that helps brain cells communicate via the glutamate chemical messenger system. “Since this is the first study to directly link OCD-like behaviors to abnormalities in the glutamate system in a specific brain circuit, it may lead to new targets for drug development,” explained Guoping Feng, Ph.D., Duke University, whose study was funded in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). “An imbalance in SAPAP3 gene-related circuitry could help explain OCD.”

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 10643 - Posted: 06.24.2010

by Mitch Leslie Some people just can’t help themselves. They wash their hands over and over, scrubbing their skin raw. Or they lock and relock doors, pull out their own hair, or obsessively rearrange the contents of their closet. Now, a study of mice suggests that faulty immune cells prompt such compulsive behaviors. The results raise the possibility of treating obsessive-compulsive disorder by targeting the immune system rather than the brain. Mice are fastidious, regularly cleansing their bodies from nose to tail. But animals with a defective version of the gene Hoxb8 groom themselves so much that they tear out patches of fur and develop skin sores. The behavior resembles a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder called trichotillomania, in which people tug out their own hair. The Hox family of genes is best known for helping to organize the embryo’s body, but Hoxb8 has several effects. The protein encoded by the gene functions in neural development, so mice lacking it have abnormal spinal cords and sensory ability, including pain sensitivity. This defect could in theory provoke the rodents to wash excessively, although molecular geneticist Mario Capecchi of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City and colleagues note that Hoxb8-lacking mice also obsessively groom other mice. That suggests that overcleaning is not a sensory problem but a behavioral one originating in the brain. © 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 14117 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Carolyn Y. Johnson Dogs have been an integral part of human life for centuries. It is precisely because of that intertwined history that dogs are a potentially powerful tool for researchers seeking the genetic roots of everything from psychiatric disorders to cancer - just two of the ailments that are similar in both humans and dogs. Last month, scientists studying Doberman pinschers with a compulsive behavior disorder similar to human obsessive-compulsive disorder found a gene associated with the condition. The genetic hit is now being followed by other researchers, who are studying the same gene in human patients with OCD, in hopes the clue from man’s best friend may help explain the disease in people. “This is exactly where we were hoping to get to,’’ said Elinor Karlsson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute, a genetics research center in Cambridge, and coauthor of a paper on the subject. “This is taking a disease that people have had a lot of trouble working with in humans, that seems to be a multigenic and complex psychiatric disease, and using a dog breed to look at something completely new about that disease - something we wouldn’t be able to find in any other species.’’ In dogs, compulsive behavior includes tail chasing, licking their legs until they develop infections, and pacing and circling - versions of normal behaviors such as predatory behavior, grooming, or locomotion taken to extremes. Those kinds of behaviors parallel the way that normal human behaviors, such as hand washing or checking objects, can become repetitive in the estimated 2.2 million American adults affected by OCD. © 2010 NY Times Co

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 13629 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By BENEDICT CAREY One was a middle-aged man who refused to get into the shower. The other was a teenager who was afraid to get out. Before Ross, 21, had brain surgery two years ago, his obsessive-compulsive disorder kept him from leaving the house. “It saved my life,” he said. The man, Leonard, a writer living outside Chicago, found himself completely unable to wash himself or brush his teeth. The teenager, Ross, growing up in a suburb of New York, had become so terrified of germs that he would regularly shower for seven hours. Each received a diagnosis of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, or O.C.D., and for years neither felt comfortable enough to leave the house. But leave they eventually did, traveling in desperation to a hospital in Rhode Island for an experimental brain operation in which four raisin-sized holes were burned deep in their brains. Today, two years after surgery, Ross is 21 and in college. “It saved my life,” he said. “I really believe that.” The same cannot be said for Leonard, 67, who had surgery in 1995. “There was no change at all,” he said. “I still don’t leave the house.” Both men asked that their last names not be used to protect their privacy. The great promise of neuroscience at the end of the last century was that it would revolutionize the treatment of psychiatric problems. But the first real application of advanced brain science is not novel at all. It is a precise, sophisticated version of an old and controversial approach: psychosurgery, in which doctors operate directly on the brain. Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 13507 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, M.D. When have you ever heard of a therapist telling a patient that he is mean or bad? Probably never. It’s not fashionable in our therapy-friendly nation, where people who behave obnoxiously are assumed to have a treatable psychiatric problem until proven otherwise. Nothing in the human experience is beyond the power of psychiatry to diagnose or fix, it seems. But even for me, an optimist and a proponent of therapy, things have gotten a little out of hand. Not long ago, one of my psychiatric residents called in distress about a patient who was demanding a different therapist. “This guy is in my office shouting at me and telling me how bad I am,” the resident said. Sure enough, the patient in question was very hostile and demeaning in talking about this young doctor. Jabbing his finger in the air, he told me how unsympathetic my resident was and how rude the staff at the front desk had been. “This kid doesn’t know the first thing about treating patients,” he said with derision. He clearly meant to hurt and humiliate his new doctor in front of a supervisor. Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 9926 - Posted: 06.24.2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the limited use of a device that sends electrical signals to the brain to ease the symptoms of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The Reclaim system, made by Medtronic Inc., can be used to treat up to 4,000 people in the United States each year under a humanitarian exemption from the Food and Drug Administration rules, the agency said Thursday. "Deep-brain stimulation using the Reclaim system may provide some relief to certain patients with severe obsessive compulsive disorder who have not responded to conventional therapy," FDA official Dr. Daniel Schultz said in a news release. "However, Reclaim is not a cure for OCD. Individual results will vary and patients implanted with the device are likely to continue to have some mild to moderate impairment in functioning and continue to require medications." The device, which Medtronic compares to a pacemaker, uses a small electrical pulse generator that blocks abnormal nerve signals in the brain. A battery-powered unit implanted near the abdomen or the collar bone is connected to electrodes implanted in the brain. © CBC 2009

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 12580 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Stephani Nano -- The same kind of deep brain stimulation used to treat some patients for Parkinson's disease also helped a few people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, French scientists reported. Their study involved only 16 patients, but in four of them, symptoms nearly disappeared. However, many patients had serious side effects, including one case of bleeding in the brain. The treatment involved an experimental brain pacemaker, and it reduced repetitive thoughts and behaviors in some of the patients -- just as it blocks tremors for some Parkinson's sufferers. The researchers came up with the approach after noticing that two Parkinson's patients who got the treatment also saw an improvement to their obsessive-compulsive disorders. Other small studies have targeted a different part of the brain for that disorder and depression. In the French study, symptoms were reduced more than 25 percent, the researchers said. The results are "very encouraging," said the study's lead author, Dr. Luc Mallet of Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris. In an e-mail, he said the procedure should be used only in medical studies at the moment because of the possible side effects. The findings are reported in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. © 2008 Discovery Communications, LLC.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 12229 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Steve Mitchell The repetitive behavior of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), such as excessive hand-washing or turning the lights on and off multiple times before leaving a room, sounds like the product of a mind in overdrive. But it may actually be the result of an underactive brain, according to a new study. If scientists had to single out a part of the brain responsible for OCD, they'd point to the orbitofrontal cortex. The region, located behind the eyes, helps us make decisions and keeps compulsive behaviors, such as gambling and excessive drinking, in check. Some studies have found abnormalities in this region in people with OCD, but its role in the disorder is unclear. Samuel Chamberlain, a psychiatrist at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., hoped brain scans would help. He and colleagues monitored 14 OCD patients, 12 unaffected relatives, and 15 people without a family history of the disorder as they engaged in a task intended to stimulate the orbitofrontal cortex. As a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine measured blood flow to various parts of their brains, the participants viewed two superimposed images--a face over a house, for example--on a screen and had to figure out through trial and error which images were "correct" and which ones were "incorrect," as determined by the researchers. Once the subjects caught on to which image was the right choice, the researchers switched it up and made the other image the correct choice. That forced the participants to change their newly acquired habit, something previously shown to activate the orbitofrontal cortex. But although normal subjects exhibited the expected activity in this region, those with OCD and their relatives showed reduced activity, even though their performance on the task was normal, the researchers report in tomorrow's issue of Science. © 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 11835 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Stacey Colino When each of her three kids was an infant, Nichole Ahern of Chevy Chase had recurring visions of tumbling down the stairs with the baby in her arms. Last fall, Mindy Walker of Westchester, N.Y., had fleeting thoughts of letting her infant daughter drop out of her arms. Adele Morgan of Hillsborough, N.J., says that the challenges of caring for her first baby made her think about putting him in the microwave or throwing him off the deck when he wouldn't stop crying. None of these women ever harmed their babies, and all are successful, loving mothers. And these kinds of intrusive, unwanted thoughts -- mild versions of those associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- are extremely common among new parents. In a study of 85 new mothers and fathers conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., researchers found that 89 percent experienced distressing, intrusive thoughts related to their infants: images of the baby suffocating or being contaminated with germs, or worries about the baby having an accident, being harmed or kidnapped. © 2006 The Washington Post Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 8625 - Posted: 06.24.2010

BY JAMIE TALAN, STAFF WRITER Scientists say they have unearthed a clue to solving the mystery of obsessive-compulsive disorder - the trait characterized with humor on the TV detective series "Monk." But OCD, as it's known, is rarely a laughing matter. Rather, its hallmarks are three behaviors: hand-washing, checking and hoarding, each carried out in the extreme. Now a study points to an understanding of the condition - and goes on to say the different behaviors may actually represent distinctly different syndromes. Scientists have demonstrated that each of the three behaviors activated a different brain region. Their study was published in the latest issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. They found that patients with hand-washing obsessions experienced activity in one brain region when presented with thoughts of dirty toilets and other germ-infested objects. The brains of patients characterized as "hoarders" experienced activity in a different brain region when presented with piles of papers. And "checkers," who compulsively check on such things as whether appliances have been turned off, experienced activity in yet another brain region when shown pictures of kettles and irons. Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 5821 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Many of us suffer from the occasional bout of hypochondria, but some people's lives are taken over by the condition. For them, the slightest headache is a brain tumour, a spot of pins and needles is multiple sclerosis. Psychiatrist Brian Fallon has been studying hypochondriacs for 15 years. He tells Clare Wilson what he thinks causes the illness, and how he has pioneered a new way of treating it Have you ever been a hypochondriac? No, but I know what it's like to worry about an inexplicable symptom. One morning I noticed my arm was swollen and I was quite concerned. I thought I might have a blockage of my lymphatic system, perhaps caused by cancer. My supervisor pointed out it was probably just a result of spending the previous day using a chainsaw. It was a good demonstration of how, when anxiety takes over, you start to lose some of your more rational powers of observation. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 4649 - Posted: 06.24.2010

NewScientist.com news service Implanting electrodes into the brains of two patients has rid them of the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, researchers in France report. Surgically implanted electrodes are used to treat the tremors associated with Parkinson's disease, though the method is reserved for only the most severe cases. But this study suggests that such "deep brain stimulation" could also be useful for treating behavioural problems associated with psychiatric disorders too. Luc Mallet, Yves Agid and their colleagues from Hôpital de la Pitie-Salpêtrière in Paris had performed the surgery to treat Parkinson's symptoms. But the surgical team were unaware that two of their patients had obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 2867 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition The notion that a strict, possibly even God-fearing, upbringing may contribute to obsessive-compulsive disorder has been boosted by a survey which discovered that devout Catholics were more likely to show symptoms than less religious people. Patients with OCD get caught in a vicious mental cycle that can take over and cripple their everyday lives. For instance, a sufferer may become convinced that everything around them is dirty, and in extreme cases spend up to eight hours a day cleaning in a bid to banish the thought. The causes of the disorder, which affects at least five million Americans and a million Britons, are still obscure. But genes, upbringing, head injuries and emotional trauma have all been implicated. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 2168 - Posted: 06.24.2010

© 2002 Psychiatric Times. All rights reserved. by Stefano Erzegovesi, M.D. Psychiatric Times May 2002 Vol. XIX Issue 5 Over the past decade, reports about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have gradually moved from the traditional and somewhat pessimistic points of view to a more defined and optimistic line of research: the "rare and intractable illness" has now become a paradigm for valid hypotheses in neurobiology and clinical psychopharmacology. Data in the literature support the so-called "serotonin (5-HT) hypothesis" of OCD (Barr et al., 1992): peripheral markers of serotonin function (Bastani et al., 1991), pharmacologic challenge studies with serotonin agonists (Erzegovesi et al., 2001b) and, above all, drug-response data from serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) (Greist et al., 1995). According to the serotonin hypothesis, patients with OCD have a dysregulation in the serotonergic system, with a hypersensitivity of postsynaptic 5-HT receptors, which could account for a different mechanism of action of SRIs in OCD (Billett et al., 1997; Zohar et al., 1987). For example, onset of therapeutic action is 10 to 12 weeks in OCD, compared to three to four weeks for mood disorders.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 2022 - Posted: 06.24.2010

The Internet May Attract Those Who Try To Hide Gambling Behaviors WASHINGTON - People who use the internet to gamble may have more serious gambling problems than those who use slot machines or play the lottery, according to a new study that is among the first to evaluate the prevalence of internet gambling. The study warns that the explosive growth of the internet will likely lead to more on-line gambling opportunities and the health and emotional difficulties that come with gambling disorders, including substance abuse, circulatory disease, depression and risky sexual behaviors. The findings are reported on in the March issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, a journal of the American Psychological Association (APA). Psychologists George T. Ladd, Ph.D., and Nancy M. Petry, Ph.D., of the University of Connecticut Health Center surveyed the gambling behaviors of 389 people seeking free or reduced-cost dental or health care at the university's health clinics. Results show that nearly 11 percent were found to be problem gamblers and over 15 percent met the criteria for pathological gamblers. The most common forms of gambling reported by the participants were lottery (89%), slot machines (82%) and scratch tickets (79%). Next came card-playing forms of gambling (71%), sports betting (57%), bingo (56%) and animal betting (53%). Internet gambling was reported by just over eight percent or 31 of the participants and 14 of those people reported gambling on the internet at least weekly. © PsycNET 2002 American Psychological Association

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 1712 - Posted: 06.24.2010