Compulsive hoarding syndrome is one of the symptom dimensions of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Hoarding and saving behaviors can also occur in nonclinical populations and with other neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, dementia, eating disorders, mental retardation, and autism. The causes of compulsive hoarding are not known; however, symptoms show a recessive inheritance pattern. There appears to be biological abnormalities in the central nervous system (CNS) among individuals with hoarding. Using positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging, compulsive hoarders have been found to have significantly lower glucose metabolism in specific parts of the brain (e.g., anterior and posterior cingulated gyrus, thalamus, and occipital cortex).
Individuals with compulsive hoarding may exhibit the following characteristics: The individual acquires and fails to discard a large number of possessions that appear useless or of limited value. Clutter prevents the individuals...
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