Low Brain Activity Cause Hoarding

Compulsive hoarding or the inability to throw anything away, affects up to two million Americans.

Hoarders often live with piles of clutter in their homes and are embarrassed to have people over.

Shawn Mawad's garage is filled with clothes, boxes, and papers.

Most of the clutter inside her home is hidden, but she knows it is there.

Doctors say people who hoard actually have less activity in the area of the brain, known as the Cingulate Cortex.

It is the area responsible for making decisions.

"Making fairly straightforward decisions about what to keep and what to throw away, these folks may have really serious trouble with it," said Sanjaua Saxena, M.D. UCSD School of Medicine.

In a first of its kind study, drugs called SRI's, combined with therapy, were shown to help compulsive hoarders.

To be diagnosed with compulsive hoarding you need to save large amounts of material that others consider useless, and have enough clutter that living spaces and work space become unusable.

For more information, go to our website, WDNU.com, and click on the medical moment banner.

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