What is dermatophagia?

Dermatophagia is a psychological condition in which a person compulsively bites, chews, gnaws, or eats their skin. It often affects the skin around people’s fingers.

Dermatophagia is an emerging concept in mental health research. For this reason, there have been few studies into precisely what it is and how it differs from other conditions.

According to the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, mental health specialists sometimes classify dermatophagia as an “obsessive-compulsive and related disorder.”

This means that it is related to or part of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). With this condition, a person has ongoing, uncontrollable, and recurring thoughts and behaviors.

Full story at Medical News Today

Mental health conditions on the rise among US students

As more and more people discuss mental health issues in public forums, it seems to be lifting some of the stigma surrounding the topic. New research reveals that the number of students seeking help for mental health problems has risen considerably between 2009 and 2015.

Sara Oswalt, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the lead author of the new study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health.

According to estimates that the scientists cite, around 26 percent of people aged 18 and above in the United States live with a mental health condition in any given year.

Full story at Medical News Today

Early results indicate potential for focused ultrasound to treat OCD

A recently published report in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry supports the potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

In a study of feasibility, safety and preliminary efficacy, four patients with disabling OCD unresponsive to medical therapy were treated by ablating small targets deep in the brain (anterior internal capsule) using the InSightec ExAblate Neuro MR-guided focused ultrasound system. This proof-of-concept study is being conducted with 12 patients by Jin Woo Chang, MD, PhD, at the Yonsei University Medical Center in Seoul, Korea. The results of the first four patients with six months follow-up were published.

All four patients had the targeted areas of the brain successfully ablated. The procedures were accomplished without complications or side effects and resulted in gradual improvement in obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors as well as showing the nearly immediate and sustained improvement in depression and anxiety over six months.

Full story of ultrasound to treat OCD at Science Daily