Obsesive-compulsive disorder, new developments with neuroimaging techniques

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Maestu F
Publisher: Masson
Publication year: 2000
Volume number: 28
Issue number: 5
Start page: 304
End page: 310
Number of pages: 7
ISSN: 1139-9287
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Brain-imaging research provides evidence to suggest that the underlying
disfunction in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is likely to be in
the prefrontal cortex-basal ganglia thalamic circuit rather than in any
one single brain region. Early computerized tomography and magnetic
resonance imaging studies have shown morphological changes in the basil
ganglia. Now more sophisticated techniques are enhancing the information
available, specially with regard to the caudate nucleus.

The serotonergic hypothesis remains a necessary but not sufficient
explanation for the pathogenesis of OCD. Most evidence remains focussed
on the basal ganglia and on a 5-HT/dopamine inter-relationship. Given
the basal ganglia receive such rich innervation from both 5-Th and
dopamine neurons, it has been postulated that OCD is subserved by a
neuronal dysfunction in the basal ganglia and orbitofrontal cortex

Combining behavioural challenge with brain imaging may be a better
approach to capturing brain function while brain patients with OCD and
control subjects are actually observed. Using this techniques has made
it possible to identified changes in response to treatment, whether the
the treatment is pharmacological or behavioural.

However; there are not data enough that allow us to understand the
anatomical, physiological and chemical mechanisms implicated in OCD.


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Last updated on 2019-10-08 at 00:15