Study separates hoarders from OCD
NEW YORK, N.Y.; August 7, 2012 (WPVI) -- For years, therapists have considered hoarding as a variation on obsessive-compulsive disorder.
But a new study says they aren't really related.
Using fMRI brain scans, researchers at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, found that the brains of hoarders and those with OCD work differently.
And it explains why therapy used for OCD fails with hoarders.
Volunteers were asked to sort through junk mail while undergoing the brain MRI, to decide what to keep and what to discard.
When the mail had a hoarder's name on it, decision-making areas of the brain lit up among the hoarders. But when another person's name was on it, those areas were abnormally quiet.
The study authors say those results indicate hoarders suffer from decision-making issues, not an obsession with all objects.
They say treatment for hoarding needs to be adjusted, to give them better skills at decision-making and prioritizing.
The study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, comes just as the American Psychiatric Association is debating whether hoarding is distinct disorder, and whether it should be written that way in the next DSM - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. That is the guide used by mental health professionals to diagnose patients.
- Missing Philadelphia couple found safe
- AccuWeather: Lots of clouds, some SE rain 26 min ago
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- WATCH: Action News Online
- Chaput, Nutter, Corbett to announce Vatican trip 8 min ago
- Police identify mystery hit-and-run victim 4 min ago
- Officers drive into hail of gunfire in N. Phila.
- Shots fired into a Philadelphia firehouse 35 min ago
- Retired Philly cop charged with assaulting teen
- Police: Gloucester Co. woman's death a homicide
- Resident return to assess damage from Ewing explosion
- Video: Secret Oreo cookie recipe sold to China
- Photos: Suspects wanted by Philadelphia Police
- Photos: Wedding of cop, teacher at Flower Show
- AccuWeather: Lots of clouds, some SE rain
26 min ago
- Police identify mystery hit-and-run victim
4 min ago