The purpose of this study is to identify genes that affect susceptibility to
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). By identifying genes that increase or decrease the risk
of OCD, researchers can better understand how the condition develops and ultimately improve
treatment for people with OCD.
OCD is a severe, familial condition that affects approximately 2% of the population. The way
OCD is inherited is not clearly understood, but researchers believe it is complex and
involves multiple genes. This study will detect and localize genes that increase or decrease
susceptibility to OCD. The data collected from this study will be combined with data from
other research studies to determine gene linkage and association.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a severe, heritable condition with a lifetime
prevalence of about two percent of the population. The mode of inheritance is poorly
understood but is likely complex, involving multiple loci of small to major effect. Since
1995, the NIMH-IRP has been active in a multi-center family study of OCD, led by Dr. Gerald
Nestadt of Johns Hopkins University, which was approved via a competitive NIMH extramural
application (MH 502140). An expanded consortium of sites (including new sites at Brown and
Harvard Universities) anticipates adding 300 new affected sib-pair families over the next
three years. This sample will be used for linkage and association analyses. Data will be
shared within this consortium of investigators studying OCD, and will eventually be combined
with data obtained from a second consortium.
- INCLUSION CRITERIA:
Must have a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or be a family member (usually a
parent or sibling) of someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Certain disorders are considered part of OCD "spectrum" disorders and often include family
members with OCD. These include Tourette's Syndrome, other individuals with tics, and
Trichotillomania (severe hair pulling), and other forms of repetitive behaviors.
Persons with primary behavioral difficulties who do not fit with the current definitions
of "OCD and OCD spectrum disorders" may not be eligible. These include compulsive
shopping, gambling, or compulsive sexual behaviors.