Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – A Primer on Neurobiology, Diagnosis and Treatment
The hallmark of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the presence of obsessions and compulsions. It has a bimodal incidence, with peaks occurring in late childhood/early adolescence and again in early adulthood (20-29).
While 21 to 38 % of individuals in the population endorse obsessions and/or compulsions, only a small minority meet the criteria for a clinical OCD diagnosis. [Bralten et al, 2020]
The lifetime prevalence of OCD is believed to be between 1% and 3%, and patients can experience chronic or episodic OCD symptoms throughout their lifetime. OCD is a time-consuming and distressing psychiatric disorder that has higher disability-adjusted years than Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis combined, making OCD one of the top 10 most disabling medical conditions. [WHO]
OCD symptoms are often accompanied by strong avoidance behaviours.
OCD is under-recognised, undertreated as well as frequently mistreated. We summarise the key diagnosis and treatment modalities in OCD based on the latest reviews. [Hirschtritt M et al, 2017], [Reddy et al, 2017], [Stein et al, 2019] , [Del Casale et al, 2019]
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