Brain circuitry of compulsivity

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Publication Details

Author list: Soriano-Mas C
Publisher: Elsevier: 12 months
Publication year: 2016
Journal: European Neuropsychopharmacology (0924-977X)
Volume number: 26
Issue number: 5
Start page: 810
End page: 827
Number of pages: 18
ISSN: 0924-977X
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Compulsivity is associated with alterations in the structure and the
function of parallel and interacting brain circuits involved in
emotional processing (involving both the reward and the fear circuits),
cognitive control, and motor functioning. These brain circuits develop
during the pre-natal period and early childhood under strong genetic and
environmental influences. In this review we bring together literature
on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes in compulsivity, based
mainly on studies in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and
addiction. Disease symptoms normally change over time. Goal-directed
behaviors, in response to reward or anxiety, often become more habitual
over time. During the course of compulsive disorders the mental
processes and repetitive behaviors themselves contribute to the
neuroplastic changes in the involved circuits, mainly in case of
chronicity. On the other hand, successful treatment is able to normalize
altered circuit functioning or to induce compensatory mechanisms. We
conclude that insight in the neurobiological characteristics of the
individual symptom profile and disease course, including the potential
targets for neuroplasticity is an unmet need to advance the field.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45