Biological Approach to Explaining OCD

  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 08-09-19 19:39

1) Genetic explanation

  • genetically inherited and runs in families
  • what is probably passed on from one generation to the next is genetic vulnerability not the certainty of OCD
  • according to the diathesis-stress model certain genes leave some people more likely to suffer from a mental disorder but it is not certain- some environmental stress is needed to trigger the condition
  • researchers have identified genes that create this vulnerability called candidate genes, for example gene 9
  • OCD seems to be polygenic so it is not caused by a single gene but rather several genes, some estimates suggest as many as 230 and it is thought different types of OCD may be caused by different combinations of these genes
  • family studies indicate a higher percentage of first degree relatives have the disorder (10%) compared to the prevalence rate (2%)

2) Neural explanation

  • the genes associated with OCD are likely to affect eh levels of neurotransmitters as well as the structures in the brain
  • the neurotransmitter serotonin is thought to help regulate mood
  • if a person has low serotonin transmission then normal transmission of mood relevant information across the synaose does not take place and the persons mood and sometimes other mental processes are affecred
  • serotonin may be…


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