Biological Approach to Treating OCD

  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 08-09-19 19:57

Drug therapy

  • drugs attemot to increase or decrease levels of neurotransmitters or the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain

1) SSRIs

  • a particular type of antidepressant drug called 'Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor' (SSRI)
  • work on the serotonin system in the brain as it is thought low serotonin transmission is a possible cause of OCD
  • normally after serotonin has transmitted its message from the presynaptic neuron to the postsynaptic neuron by crossing the synapse it is reabsorbed by the presynaptic neuron ready to be reused
  • SSRIs work by preventing this reabsorption
  • this results in more serotonin staying in the synapse for longer which then continues to stimulate the postsynaptic neuron for longer, therefore increasing the serotonin transmission to compensate for the low transmisson the patient was experiencing which reduces anxiety

2) Anti-anxiety drugs 

  • Benzodiazepines (BZs) are sometimes used to treat the anxiety felt by OCD patients
  • BZs work by enhancing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA
  • as GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter it decreases the likelihood of…


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