Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 297–303 | Cite as

Recent advances in compulsive hoarding

  • Sanjaya Saxena


Compulsive hoarding is a common and often disabling neuropsychiatric disorder. This article reviews the conceptualization, phenomenology, diagnosis, etiology, neurobiology, and treatment of compulsive hoarding. Compulsive hoarding is part of a discrete clinical syndrome that includes difficulty discarding, urges to save, excessive acquisition, indecisiveness, perfectionism, procrastination, disorganization, and avoidance. It was thought to be part of obsessive-compulsive disorder or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, but recent evidence indicates that it should be classified as a separate disorder with its own diagnostic criteria. Compulsive hoarding is a genetically discrete, strongly heritable phenotype. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies are elucidating its neurobiology, implicating dysfunction of ventral and medial prefrontal cortical areas that mediate decision-making, attention, and emotional regulation. Effective treatments include pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. More research will be required to determine the prevalence, etiology, and pathophysiology of compulsive hoarding and to develop better treatments


Anterior Cingulate Cortex Cerebral Glucose Metabolism Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptom Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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