An OCD Test - obsessive compulsive disorder test
It is possible to do brain scans to test for OCD, using a PET scan.
Using this technique it is possible to test for OCD ( obsessive compulsive disorder ) and to then test again for the effectiveness of treatment. We know from these scans that three parts of the brain are involved in obsessions. The orbital frontal cortex is the part that detects mistakes. This is part of the frontal lobe, on the underside of the brain, just behind our eyes. Scans show that the more obsessive a person is, the more activated the orbital frontal cortex is. Once the orbital frontal cortex has given the person a feeling of having made a mistake, it then sends a signal to the cingulated gyrus. This is located in the deepest part of the cortex.
This then triggers an anxiety that something terrible is going to happen unless the mistake is corrected. It sends signals to both the gut and the heart, causing the physical sensations that are associated with dread. In the person with OCD the caudate nucleus becomes 'sticky' and does not allow thoughts to flow freely, which is the normal task of the caudate.
In an everyday sense however it can be hard to test for OCD because it is hard to classify. Usually OCD is classified as one of the anxiety disorders. However, treatment failure with this diagnosis leads many people to questions whether it should be even classified as an anxiety disorder. However, anxiety is one of the most notable presenting symptoms of OCD. Another difficulty in testing arises from the fact that OCD is not always even considered to be one disorder. They can be several different subtypes.
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