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Although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), few reliable predictors of treatment outcome have been identified. The present study examined the neural correlates of symptom improvement with CBT among OCD patients with predominantly contamination obsessions and washing compulsions, the most common OCD symptom dimension.
Participants consisted of 12 OCD patients who underwent symptom provocation with contamination-related images during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning prior to 12 weeks of CBT.
Patterns of brain activity during symptom provocation were correlated with a decrease on the Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) after treatment, even when controlling for baseline scores on the YBOCS and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and improvement on the BDI during treatment. Specifically, activation in brain regions involved in emotional processing, such as the anterior temporal pole and amygdala, was most strongly associated with better treatment response. By contrast, activity in areas involved in emotion regulation, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, correlated negatively with treatment response mainly in the later stages within each block of exposure during symptom provocation.
Successful recruitment of limbic regions during exposure to threat cues in patients with contamination-based OCD may facilitate a better response to CBT, whereas excessive activation of dorsolateral prefrontal regions involved in cognitive control may hinder response to treatment. The theoretical implications of the findings and their potential relevance to personalized care approaches are discussed.
Although the need for on-site physicians at mass gatherings has been investigated in developed countries, it has not been studied in a developing country, where resources are limited, paramedical services are unavailable, and transportation and other facilities are inadequate.
The presence of on-site physicians would result in the effective management and prehospital care of casualties at mass gatherings or major sporting events in a developing country.
A retrospective review of the planning procedures and medical records of the 19th Nigerian University games was conducted. Data from demographic profiles of visitors presenting to the on-site, secondary, and tertiary medical centers and the treatments used were extracted from log-books and processed and interpreted.
The Games hosted 6,000 accredited athletes and officials, and an estimated 80,000 spectators. Medical coverage was provided by 54 doctors and other healthcare staff at on-site, secondary, and tertiary medical centers. No trained paramedics were available. A total of 494 visits were made to the medical centers (medical usage rate of 2.1/1,000, patient presentation rate of 0.08). Forty-six percent of the visitors were evaluated by a physician on-site. Ninety percent of the visits were managed on-site, while 5% and 3% were referred to secondary and tertiary medical centers, respectively.
The presence of on-site physicians at a major sporting event resulted in the majority of injuries and complaints being effectively treated on-scene. This reduced the number of hospital referrals and saved time and money for treatment.
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