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Mental Health Center

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Cause

Researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but brain abnormalities, genetic (family) influences, and environmental factors are being studied. Brain scans of people with OCD have shown that they have different patterns of brain activity than people without OCD and that abnormal functioning of circuitry within a certain part of the brain (striatum) may cause the disorder. Abnormalities in other parts of the brain and an imbalance of brain chemicals, especially serotonin, may also contribute to OCD.

Some experts believe that a problem related to streptococcal infections, such as strep throat and scarlet fever, can suddenly bring on the disorder or make its symptoms worse in some children.

Recommended Related to Mental Health

Joe Pantoliano: Mental Illness Hits Home

When Joe [Greco, the director] brought the script to me I had just come off winning the Emmy award for The Sopranos. I was specifically looking for a part that would be a 360 from the character I played in The Sopranos. I chose to play this part for selfish reasons: to be a loving, caring husband who's victimized by this illness. Marcia Gay [Harden] is an old friend, and Joe wanted Marcia to play Mary, so once I convinced Marcia to do it, in preparation we went to a place called Fountain House,...

Read the Joe Pantoliano: Mental Illness Hits Home article > >

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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