Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living (IOL) is world-renowned for treating mental health issues and for research to develop new treatments.
Dr. David Tolin, founder and director of the IOL’s Anxiety Disorders Center, is conducting research into hoarding, a type of obsessive compulsive disorder.
The primary symptom is the inability to part with possessions and the primary treatment so far has been counseling.
Tolin, an expert on hoarding, and colleagues at the IOL are leading a clinical study to determine what therapy works best for hoarders and how counseling can re-direct pathways in the brain to enable patients to make healthier decisions. Study participants engage in a 16-week course of cognitive behavioral therapy that encourages them to set goals and teaches them ways to manage the emotional upset associated with clearing up the clutter. Brain scans taken throughout the treatment will help researchers identify areas of the brain that might be affected by the disorder and, potentially the treatment. Tolin hopes the study will help create more targeted and effective approaches to treating hoarding disorder.