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Study Throws Out Previous Assumptions About Hoarders and OCD
Psychologists have classified hoarding disorder as a type of OCD for years, but new brain imaging research shows that information is, well, garbage.
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that patients with hoarding disorder show different brain activity during decision making than patients with OCD, pinpointing a biological distinction between the two disorders for the first time.
Dr. David Tolin and his team at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn. used brain imaging (fMRI) to test how 107 people reacted when asked whether they wanted to keep a piece of junk mail or discard it. Sometimes, it was junk mail that belonged to the patient, and sometimes, it belonged to someone else. Forty-three participants had hoarding disorder and another 31 had OCD or obsessive compulsive disorder, according to the study.