Biological approach to OCD

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  • Biological approach to treating OCD
    • What is drug therapy?
      • Chemical treatments that influence the biological functioning of some aspect of the body. In mental health neurotrans-mitters are targeted
    • SSRI
      • Benzo-diazepine
      • Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor
      • What do they do?
        • SSRIs inhibit the re-uptake/ absorption of serotonin which is too fast i people with OCD. This results in serotonin staying in the synaptic cleft for longer influencing the post synaptic neuron
      • Alternatives
        • Tricyclics
          • These influence  Noradrenaline, these are often the second choice due to more intense side effects
        • Pychosurgery
          • This is only used in severe cases who don't respond to drug treatment. the surgery alters communications between the Orbital Cortex and other areas of the brain
        • Deep brain stimulation
          • This is a new experimental technique where electrodes are placed in the brain
    • Evaluation
      • Positive
        • Greist et al (1995)
          • A meta analysis where he reviewed placebo controlled trials of the effects of four drugs on OCD. 1520 people were involved in the trials and the conclusion was that all four drugs were more effective than the placebo
          • Critique
            • Publication bias
              • It has been shown that results are more likely to be published than negative because the companies which run the drug trials have the financial incentive to show their drug works
        • Cost
          • Cost of biological drug therapy is much cheaper than treatments such as CBT because it requires far less support which could make it appealing to health services with a budget
      • Negative
        • Side effects
          • While drug therapies can address some symptoms of OCD they can cause a range of side effects such as Insomnia and Nausea
        • Symptoms returning
          • It has been shown that once the patient has finished treatment 45% of of cases relapse within 12 weeks showing drugs don't treat the cause of OCD
        • CBT
          • CBT should be used first since it is as just effective and lasts long term with only 12% in relapsed cases


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