Biological therapies for OCD

How OCD is treated biologically. 

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DRUGS

Drug therapy is currently the most commonly used treatment for OCD, the most commonly used drugs are antidepressants, although antianxiety drugs may be used. 

Antidepressants are used to reduce the anxiety associated with OCD.  SSRIs  such as Prozac increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin with regulates mood and anxiety.     Another antidepressant tricyclic clomipramine was the first antidepressant used primarily for OCD rather than depression.   They block the transporter mechanism that re-absorbs both serotonin and noradrenaline.   As a result, more of these neurotransmitters are left in the synapse which prolongs their activity, and easing the transition of the next impulse.  

Anti-anxiety drugs such as BZ's slow down the activity of the central nervous system by enhancing the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that, when released, has a calming effect on many of the neurons in the brain.    It does this by reacting with special sites on the outside of the recieving neurons, a flow of chloride ions is produced. They make it harder for the neuron to be stimulated by other neurotransmitters, thus slowing down activity making the person feel more relaxed. 

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PSYCHOSURGERY   is a surgical intervention that aims to treat a behaviour for which no pathological cause can be established. 

Capsulotomy and cingulotomy   are two operations that are performed for anxiety disorders. These operations remove the capsule which is part of the limbic system which is involved with emotion and anxiety, and the cingulum which links the OFC to the caudate nucleus. 

Deep brian stimulation involves placing wires in target areas of the brain, when the current is on the worry circuit is interrupted. 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation   is a technique which avoids destruction of brain tissue. A large electromagnetic coil is placed above the scalp. This created painless electric currents that stimulate the frontal cortex, a region of the brain associated with OCD and mood regulation. 

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