Thesis: Biological Pathologies of OCD

Sample Thesis Paper

There are a number of biological pathologies which may be involved in the incidence of OCD. These factors may be neurochemical, neuroautomatic and genetic. One of the genetic theories of OCD is one of candidate genes. This theory allows linkage analysis to be performed which can create associations of OCD saving the trouble of conducting costly genetic analysis. Studies have shown that there is a familial component to the incidence of OCD.

One study found that there was a significantly greater incidence of OCD within family members of subjects at 10.3%, these results were shown in comparison to a control group which showed an incidence rate of 1.9%. Other results from the study also showed a correlation between relatives with Tourette’s disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder at 4.6%. The study concluded that this disorder was heterogeneous (Pauls, Alsobrook, Goodman, Rasmussen & Leckman, 1995). Yet another study found that there was a greater incidence of the disease in men rather than women at an early age. While women had its onset at a later age, it also found a close association between OCD and panic disorder (Lensi, Cassano, Correddu, Ravagli, Kunovac & Akiskal, 1996). The most accepted neurochemical theory regarding OCD is one which involves the serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitter systems. According to studies conducted obsessive compulsive disorder may entail the activity of the striatum regions, the orbitofrontal cortex and the cingulated cortex regions of the brain. Certain studies have shown that anti-anxiety medications mainly exert their therapeutic effects via the serotonergic (5-HT) system suggesting that it may have a significant role in the onset of OCD (Rauch & Jenike, 1993). Other studies have shown that there is a strong association between brain derived neurotrophic factor and obsessive compulsive disorder (Hall, Dhilla, Charalambous, Gogos & Karayiorgou, 2003).

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