The Biological approach to explaining OCD - Genetic explanations

View mindmap
  • Genetic explanations
    • Candidate genes
      • Researchers have identified genes which create a vulnerability to OCD (candidate genes)
      • Some are involved in regulating the development of the serotonin system
      • E.g: 5HT1 - D beta implicated in transport of serotonin across synapses
    • OCD is polygenic
      • Not just caused by one gene but several genes involved
      • Taylor (2013) found evidence that up to 230 different genes may be involved
      • Include those associated with the action of dopamine as well as serotonin (neurotransmitters believed to have a role in mood regulation)
    • Different types of OCD
      • One group of genes may cause OCD in one person but a different group may cause it in another person (aetiologically heterogeneous)
      • Some evidence to suggest that different types of OCD may be the result of particular genetic variations
    • Diathesis stress model - certain genes leave people more likely to suffer a mental disorder but some environmental stress is necessary to trigger the condition
    • OCD is a good example of a condition that may be largely understood as biological in nature
    • Genes involved in an individual vulnerability
    • Lewis (1936): 37% of OCD patients had parents with OCD and 21% had siblings
    • Evaluation
      • There is good supporting evidence
        • One of the best sources is twin studies
        • Nestadt et al. (2010) reviewed previous twin studies and found that 68% of identical twins shared OCD while 31% of non-identical twins didn't
        • Strongly suggests genetic influence
      • Too many candidate genes
        • Psychologists unsuccessful at pinning genes down
        • Several genes involved and each variation only increases vulnerability by a fraction
        • Provides little predictive value
      • Environmental risk factors
        • Environmental risk factors can trigger/increase risk of OCD
        • Cromer et al. (2007) found that over half the OCD patients had past traumatic experiences
        • OCD more severe in those with more than one trauma
        • Cannot be entirely genetic in origin (at least not in all cases)
        • May be more productive to think about environmental causes because something can be done about them


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Obsessive compulsive disorders resources »