Biological Therapies for OCD

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  • Biological Therapies for OCD
    • Psychosurgery
      • Cingulotomy
        • Removes cingulum (links orbitofrontal cortex to caudate nucleus)
      • Capsulotomy
        • Removes capsule (involved with emotion and anxiety)
      • Brain surgery
      • Usually last resort due to high risks
      • 45% patients partly improved after cingulotomy
        • Jung et al found similar recovery rate
      • Does surgery remove symptoms, or reduce motivation and energy?
      • Mary Lou Zimmerman
        • Severe OCD
        • Both cingulotomy and capsulotomy
        • Left unable to walk, stand, eat by herself
    • Chemotherapy
      • Anti-anxiety drugs
        • Benzodiazepines
          • Slow down nervous system by enhancing GABA effect
      • Antidepressants
        • SSRIs
          • Increases serotonin levels (low serotonin associated with OCD)
        • Tricyclics
          • Increase serotonin and noradrenaline levels
          • More effective than SSRIs, less prescribed due to side effects
      • Side effects
      • Easy to take and prescribe
      • Effective and better than placebos
      • Only treat symptoms, not cause?
    • Approach is reductionist
      • Assumes simple link between OCD and biology


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