Psychotherapy can help some people avoid the disruptive behaviors linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and a new study suggests that brain scans can help spot those patients for whom the therapy will be most effective.
The treatment is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It works by placing patients in controlled situations where they are exposed to anxiety-causing stimuli, so that they gradually learn to deal better with these situations.
"Cognitive behavioral therapy is in many cases very effective, at least in the short term," said Dr. Jamie Feusner, an associate professor of psychiatry at University of California, Los Angeles, and director of the Semel Institute's Adult OCD Program.
However, the treatment is "costly, time-consuming, difficult for patients and, in many areas, not available," Feusner noted in a UCLA news release. So, "if someone will end up having their symptoms return [after treatment], it would be useful to know before they get treatment," he reasoned. Read more.