By Erika Sipos. Master in Applied Neuroscience student


Diagnosis and treatment of obsessive and fear driven behaviours have gone through significant changes since the days medical bodies first started to take notice of them. Research in the past decades in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, neurology and biology has aimed at understanding underlying psychological and physiological conditions, triggers and circumstances that aid the development and sustenance of disorders that manifest in fear, anxiety, obsessive and in more severe cases, aggressive behaviour towards oneself and others. A literature review was conducted on neurological and grey matter alterations in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with the aim of identifying evidence of OCD and PTSD comorbidity, physiological, neurological and biochemical changes in the brain, specifically grey matter reduction (GMR) and chronic inflammation, both of which may act as potential causes and consequences of the aforementioned diseases, as well as prevalence of genetic predisposition to fear, anxiety and stress related disorders. Research results showed that in order to evaluate, understand and diagnose mental health disorders, science, psychology and therapy must approach the topic of mental health through holistic lenses, factoring in genetics, biochemistry of the brain and the human organism as a whole and environment, with an appreciation of the individual case of each subject shaping their particular set of causality, symptoms and manifestation of the condition. 

Keywords:PTSD, OCD, pro-inflammation, immune system, anxiety disorders, grey matter reduction, comorbidities, genetics, twins

Download the full research study here: Erika Sipos (2020). Inflammation and grey matter alteration, Causes and effects in PTSD and OCD. SAERA


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