Friday, October 1, 2010

Interesting OCD (and Related) News

So, I've been meaning to do this for a while, but never managed to actually put it together.  Just like I enjoy reading others' blogs and learning about their experiences with OCD, I am also somewhat addicted to learning as much as I can about the disorder in general - I love reading about some of the latest news and findings on OCD, and have also read several books on the disorder and related topics.

In college, I studied neuroscience, and though in the short time since I graduated I have forgotten much of what I learned, I am still fascinated by the brain and its functioning - both on the biological level, as well as on the more behavioral side of things.  Add OCD to the mix, and I get abnormally excited when reading about some of the latest research and clinical studies on the disorder.  Of course, I like reading about OCD because it has a strong element of personal significance, but when I find that things I learned in school help me understand what we do know about the biology of OCD and the various methods of treatment, I absolutely LOVE it - and I kind of need an outlet for my uber geeky enthusiasm.  So, I thought that now and then I'd compile a list of some of the more interesting links I have found.  Sometimes there isn't a whole lot out there at a given time, but we'll see how this goes!


An interesting article on some of the additional positive outcomes one woman experienced after she chose a neurosurgery procedure to treat her severe, treatment-refractory OCD.  While DBS obviously isn't a practical way to address most cases of OCD for a number of reasons, I think it's absolutely fascinating that this technique could shed more light on the biological underpinnings of the disorder.  (Side note:  in college I wrote a research paper on the use of DBS for treatment of Parkinson's.  I became fascinated by this procedure after learning that it was sometimes performed at a hospital I worked at.  Needless to say, I am intrigued by the possibility that DBS may also be of use in treating very severe OCD.)

10 Common Myths About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

I'm sure many of you with OCD have run into a number of misconceptions about the disorder - both in person and in print.  I like that this online article sets the record straight on some of the more common misunderstandings.  It's a nice primer on what OCD is NOT.

Soft 'patients' Dub and Lilo help mental illness sufferers in the Skegness area

A cute idea.  Plus, I have an innate weakness for all things small and fury.

OCD Gene Produces Compulsive Behavior in Mice

While it's still a big leap to make conclusions about the biological basis of human behaviors based on mouse studies alone, research, like the that summarized here, helps us get one step closer to identifying the underlying biological factors of OCD in humans.  This is a nice straight-forward synopsis of the findings of a collaborative study involving the Ansary Stem Cell Institute and the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Pro-Eating Disorder Websites: An Unhealthy Influence

I definitely have a bone to pick with these types of websites (as I'm sure many people out there do) because I certainly saw them when I was going through my eating disorder period, and all they did was confuse me more!  They pulled at my OCD heart-strings by suggesting that choosing to starve oneself was a "lifestyle" choice more so than a disorder.  I can now see how OCD jumped all over this with thoughts like, "Wait what?  This is a 'lifestyle?'  If other people choose to do this, if other people think this is a way to live, how can I not live up to their levels of deprivation?  Maybe I am lazy/a failure for not being able to live up to their 'lifestyle' standards..."  Obviously these websites can cause distress to the already ED/OCD-laden mind, and apparently they can affect non-ED sufferers as well, as summarized on this mental health blog.

Who recovers best from eating disorders?

This is a link to another summary provided by the author of the blog Mental Health Update.  Here he mentions a study performed to try to identify characteristics associated with better recovery from EDs.  I would be intrigued by similar studies done for OCD.  Who knows?  They're probably out there!  Maybe I'll have to have a look.

Abnormalities in brain histamine may be key factor in Tourette syndrome

A study found that, in one particular family, a genetic mutation affecting the production of histamine may be linked to the development of Tourette syndrome.  This disorder is often considered part of the "obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder" family, and many who suffer from Tourette's also have OCD.  Though researchers do not believe that this particular genetic mutation is a common cause of Tourette's, the effect this change has on the nervous system may shed light on the neurobiology behind the disorder.

Alright, that's enough for now.  There are more even more recent articles I've come across that look interesting, but if I keep adding on I will never actually finish!  There's always more to do, more to read, more to think about, but if I wait to act until it's all done, I will never get anywhere!

2 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post! Keep them coming! I too love reading as much as I can about OCD, and successful treatments. Thank you for this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous - Glad you liked it! Thanks for reading!

    ReplyDelete

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