Caudate nucleistructures in the brain within the

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Unformatted text preview: have been developed as well.This research points to (1) abnormally low activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin and (2) abnormal functioning in key regions of the brain. As we have observed previously, serotonin, like GABA and norepinephrine, is a brain chemical that carries messages from neuron to neuron. The first clue to its role in obsessive-compulsive disorder was, once again, a surprising finding by clinical ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 127 :// 127 •exposure and response prevention• A behavioral treatment for obsessivecompulsive disorder that exposes a client to anxiety-arousing thoughts or situations and then prevents the client from performing his or her compulsive acts. Also called exposure and ritual prevention. •neutralizing•A person’s attempt to eliminate unwanted thoughts by thinking or behaving in ways that put matters right internally, making up for the unacceptable thoughts. •serotonin•A neurotransmitter whose abnormal activity is linked to depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders. BETWEEN THE LINES Obsessive Love One team of researchers found that the serotonin activity of participants who claimed to be newly in love was about as low as that of participants with obsessivecompulsive disorder (Marazziti et al., 1999; Asimov, 1997). << 12/10/09 11:16:35 AM 128 ://CHAPTER 4 •orbitofrontal cortex• A region of the brain in which impulses involving excretion, sexuality, violence, and other primitive activities normally arise. •caudate nuclei•Structures in the brain, within the region known as the basal ganglia, that help convert sensory information into thoughts and actions. Figure 4-7 The biology of obsessive-compulsive disorder Brain structures that have been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder include the orbitofrontal cortex, caudate nucleus, thalamus, amygdala, and cingulate cortex. The structures may be too active in people with the disorder. Cingulate cortex Orbitofrontal cortex ComFun6e_Ch04_C!.indd 128 researchers—this time that two antidepressant drugs, clomipramine and fluoxetine (Anafranil and Prozac), reduce obsessive and compulsive symptoms (Stein & Fineberg, 2007). Since these particular drugs increase serotonin activity, some researchers concluded that the disorder might be caused by low serotonin activity. In fact, only those antidepressant drugs that increase serotonin activity help in cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder; antidepressants that mainly affect other neurotransmitters typically have no effect on it ( Jenike, 1992). Still other studies have recently suggested that other neurotransmitters, particularly glutamate, GABA, and dopamine, may also play important roles in the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (Lambert & Kinsley, 2005). Another line of research has linked obsessive-compulsive disorder to abnormal functioning by specific regions of the brain, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex ( just above each eye) and the caudate nuclei (structures located within the brain region known as the basal ganglia). Th...
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