Navigation Links
The brain of OCD sufferers is more active when faced with a moral dilemma
Date:11/8/2012

Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder are characterised by persistent thoughts and repetitive behaviours. A new study reveals that sufferers worry considerably more than the general population in the face of morality problems.

Along with the help of experts from the Barcelona's Hospital del Mar and the University of Melbourne (Australia), researchers at the Hospital de Bellvitge in Barcelona have proven that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, known as OCD, are more morally sensitive.

"Faced with a problem of this type, people suffering from this type of anxiety disorder show that they worry considerably more," as explained to SINC by Carles Soriano, researcher at the Catalan hospital and one of the lead authors of the work published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the experts studied the neurofunctional basis of this increased moral sensitivity. They measured the brain activity of a group of 73 patients with OCD and 73 healthy patients when faced with different moral problems in which they had to choose between two alternatives both leading to very negative consequences.

For example, they were faced the dilemma of the crying baby, a classic in philosophy classes. They were asked to imagine themselves in a hypothetical war. Enemy soldiers lie in wait to attack and the entire village hides in a cellar. A baby starts to cry. If nobody makes the baby stop, the soldiers will discover everyone. Would it be justifiable to smother the baby's cry running the risk of suffocating it to save the others?

"The brain activations displayed by participants in the face of such a moral question were compared to those displayed for trivial choices, like choosing between going to the countryside or the beach for the weekend," as Soriano points out.

The results verified that during situations of moral dilemma those subjects with OCD displayed a higher degree of activation in the orbitofrontal cortex, especially in the medial part, which is linked to decision making processes and the development of moral sentiment.

"The data allows us for the first time to objectify the existence of cerebral dysfunctions related to alterations in complex cognitions, such as experiencing morality," adds the researcher from Catalonia. "This allows us to expand further on the characterisation of altered cerebral mechanisms in OCD."

Anxiety compulsion

OCD is characterised by persistent thoughts named obsessions that cause fear and worry. It is also characterised by repetitive behaviour called compulsions that aim to reduce associated anxiety. It affects 2% of the population.

Affected patients can be differentiated into different types. "The majority are characterised by being obsessed with dirt and compulsive cleaning or by doubting that they have carried out important actions properly, like turning off the gas. Such behaviour makes then repeatedly check whether they have performed such actions," says Soriano.

There are other types of obsessions and compulsions, like those displayed by patients who need surrounding objects to be perfectly symmetrical and in order or who accumulate different types of objects that they can later not get rid of.

Lastly, there are also those that suffer from involuntary and unwanted thoughts of a sexual or religious kind whereby they are unsure whether they have committed a sexual act that is unacceptable in their opinion or they worry that they have blasphemed. "The last group of patients is identified for precisely having a higher level of moral hypersensitivity," concludes the researcher.
'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@agenciasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Inpatient brain injury education increases bike helmet use, study finds
2. New cell type developed for possible treatment of Alzheimers and other brain diseases
3. Early treatment sparks striking brain changes in autism
4. Brain Anatomy May Play Role in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
5. Alzheimers Signs Found in Brains of Young Adults With Gene Mutation
6. Handshakes Matter for First Impressions, Brain Study Confirms
7. Physical Activity in Old Age May Protect Brain
8. Combination treatment may improve survival of breast cancer patients with brain metastases
9. Caffeines effect on the brains adenosine receptors visualized for the first time
10. Higher Blood Pressure May Harm the Middle-Aged Brain, Study Finds
11. Study: Repeated surgeries appear to extend life of patients with deadliest of brain cancers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The brain of OCD sufferers is more active when faced with a moral dilemma
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Intalere, the healthcare ... suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, ... operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The conference was highlighted by the ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... one that has a significant negative impact on long-term patient survival, reports a ... The results, published online this week in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... An April Gallup survey found rising health care ... of Sun Health Senior Living (SHSL) may not share those same worries ... prescription copays for the year, while holding the line on increasing their contributions, including ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... , ... The Lung Institute has partnered with the Gulfcoast North ... 6 at their clinic in downtown Tampa. The class is complimentary for the public. ... created a free downloadable 4 Week Smoking Cessation Guide for those who ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Eugene Batelli, D.P.M., ... with his wonderful accolades and stellar patient reviews, Dr. Batelli continues to be ... Dr. Eugene Batelli is a highly trained Podiatric Surgeon who specializes in treating ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... 25, 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds ... report that provides an overview on therapeutic pipeline ... various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, mechanism ... molecule type, along with latest updates, and featured ... players involved in the therapeutic development for Chronic ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Cirujanos holandeses han puesto en ... médicos a compartir sus mejores prácticas por el mundo ... médicos de Europa, África, Asia ... aplicación, que combina la transmisión en vivo con mensajería ... Educación   "Imagine un médico de Medicines ...
(Date:5/24/2016)...   , Study met ... and superiority in , Excellent plus ... of the ascending colon   , ... B.V. today announced new positive data from the phase III MORA ... standard 2 litre PEG with ascorbate. The study met both primary ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: