The article is devoted to the problem of connection between biological substrate of obsessive-compulsive disorder and its typical psychological features. The main attention is paid to disfunction of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical loops and basal ganglia as the reason of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is differentiated from anxiety disorders spectrum. Etiology of compulsive handwashing and compulsive checking is compared. Data of cognitive researches of this theme are interpreted, include response inhibition test. Assumptions about nature of obsessive thoughts “trap” are made.
According to the results of the study, despite the fact that the psychological manifestations of OCD reminds those in anxiety disorders, it’s etiology is significantly different from them. OCD forms its own group of disorders characterized by intrusive thoughts and actions. This spectrum includes dysmorphophobia, compulsive hoarding, trichotillomania, excoriation, drug-induced obsessive-compulsive disorder, and indeterminate obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD has a clearly defined neuroanatomical substrate: orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and basal ganglia, which are part of the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical loops. The key to the development of OCD is the pathological functional connection between these structures. Symptoms of the disorder arises because of the predominance of the direct pathway of the basal ganglia over the indirect. The anterior cingulate cortex is associated with compulsive cheking, whereas areas of the prefrontal and temporal cortex and their connection with the cerebellum are associated with compulsive handwashing. Since obsessive-compulsive behavior and OCD loop mutually reinforce each other, a vicious circle is formed between psychological symptoms and neurological disorders.
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