From MSN Healthy Living:
Brain Scans of 'Hoarders' Show Unique Abnormalities
MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- People with "hoarding disorder" show abnormalities in brain scans that distinguish them from those who have other types of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), new research shows.
"We wanted to see whether the brain activity of people who hoard is different from that of people with OCD, and whether it is different from that of healthy people," explained study author David Tolin, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center and Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy within the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn. "We also wanted to understand whether people who hoard show an abnormal brain response to decisions about whether to keep things or throw them away," he noted.
"These findings further suggest that hoarding should be considered separate from OCD, and that it deserves recognition as a unique psychiatric disorder," Tolin said. "It also shows us that people who hoard have a hard time processing information normally, and that when they have to make a decision their brain goes into overdrive -- specifically, those parts that are involved with identifying the relative importance or significance of things."
Tolin and his colleagues report their findings in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
For more on hoarding, visit the International OCD Foundation.
SOURCES: David F. Tolin, Ph.D., director, Anxiety Disorders Center and Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Institute of Living, Hartford, Conn., and adjunct associate professor, psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Joseph T. Coyle, M.D., professor, psychiatry and neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston; August 2012, Archives of General Psychiatry